Every organization, municipality and application development team has the opportunity to take part in the green economy – a large and growing global phenomenon estimated at $1 trillion in the U.S. today and projected to be valued at $12 trillion worldwide by 2030.
Watch our recorded webinar to learn how green technologies are being deployed across many different sectors – from smart cities, electric vehicles and smart agriculture to clean energy systems like wind and solar. Two Digi experts share insights into the landscape of Green Tech, including the options for connecting the many different systems, depending on their location and other factors.
Follow-up Webinar Q&A
Thank you again for attending our session on Green Technology. Here are the questions that followed the presentation and their answers. If you have additional questions, be sure to reach out.
What type of trends are on different wireless protocols being used in green tech or IoT?
That's a great question. So, as you saw in the use case example, it really varies just depending on the communication needs of the solution. In some cases, like solar, where there are thousands of devices, a mesh network, like ZigBee® or DigiMesh®, would be a solution to consider. In agriculture – we talked about that a little bit – you need longer range. So a 900 MHz option would be better, and we have those available in Digi XBee® 900 MHz modules. Thinking about environmental monitoring, a lot of those are single spots (or locations) taking out sensor data. So maybe a cellular link might make more sense in those cases. And we've seen an increase in our XBee 3 modems for different IoT solutions, like environmental monitoring, especially where you want to control, read or sample sensor data.
As you've probably seen, we recently acquired Haxiot, which is a big player in the LoRaWAN space. So we're really just trying to cover all the bases for customer communication requirements in IoT and Green Tech solutions. But I'll just go back to the question, I'd say it just greatly depends on the application and the communication needs of the solution versus the trending communication protocol.
When do you think you'll be ready to offer LoRaWAN solutions for remote solar power plants monitoring?
We just acquired Haxiot and we're working on a plan to roll that out. I would expect that in the next quarter or so we'll start having those type of solutions for solar and all sorts of different IoT applications.
I would add to that with Haxiot, it's going to be a great situation there. Specifically, you asked about a solar-powered application. They really do offer an end-to-end solution from beginning to end in order to meet all of your needs. And they really tailor these specific to applications. So, once we get with them, we may even have a system already built that can work with the solar plants or other energy type applications.
Any plans on using Windows OS in the future for the SBCs?
Digi is always looking at our options and if you know you have projects there, please bring those to us. We're always willing to talk through these things. As we mentioned, we do have our Wireless Design Services team that could potentially help to create an offering like this. But currently, that is not something that is on our roadmap as we do have all the support and continue to plan to support Digi Embedded Yocto as well as Digi Embedded Android for all sorts of embedded applications.
What about a centralized firewall for system router?
We do have our full line of industrial and enterprise cellular routers. And these do offer full stateful firewalls in them. They are configurable via zones and other applications using IP tables. If you're familiar with Linux, you can create your own IP tables rules and have your own custom enterprise firewall that you can have in our cellular router. So those are certainly available on all of our products that take advantage of our newest operating system called Digi Accelerated Linux.
How do Digi solutions help customers who need to power their devices off batteries versus mains powered?
We're seeing battery-powered solutions are becoming more and more common, especially environmental monitoring solutions. And applications range everywhere from energy to agriculture. There are definitely lots of applications where mains power isn't available. So we're seeing a lot of solar panels and battery options where they are setting up units in the field, so to speak, to power communication systems.
Our XBee radios have a lot of sleep capabilities or modes where we can put the radios in the very low current draw like a few micro amps. We have options like pin sleep and cyclic sleep. We can do a combined cyclic and pin wake. We even have a synchronized cyclic sleep, which is great for a large mesh network that wants to sleep. A DigiMesh network will do this, where if you have a network that's battery-powered, you can sleep the whole network and then wake it up on a synchronized basis which is very unique to Digi. To summarize, there are lots of options to help customers maximize their battery life and especially where mains power isn't available. So I think Digi equipment is well suited for battery-powered applications.
I have a centralized SCADA system host into AWS EC2 instance. I want to get access to every field device through VPN.
Generally, if that's cloud hosted in AWS, we do potentially have some options that we could talk about there. Digi does host our cloud within AWS as well. So there's a couple of different ways you could build this. And this really depends upon the type of data that you're sending. Typically SCADA systems are a really low bandwidth kind of telematics type data. You could potentially go on a private cellular network. So it would be behind a firewall of the cellular provider. You would never actually touch the public network. And you could create a link to your own instance there in AWS, or there are potential options to connect to the Digi cloud platform and to your cloud platform as well, which could be done via some secure manner such as VPN and otherwise.
That's probably a good question to discuss in more detail with us as well. So if you want to reach out, we are happy to set up some time to discuss that in more detail. Contact us now.