Battery powered sensors vs. wired sensors

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If you’re considering deploying occupancy sensors in your workplace, it’s important to consider the best way to power and maintain the sensors.

There are a variety of options including battery, wired and wireless.

Battery powered sensors are often marketed as being simpler for installation but they typically rely on non-rechargeable batteries and create a significant amount of waste and logistical costs when scheduling replacements.

In this post, we’ll explore some of the myths about battery powered workplace sensors…

MYTH #1
Battery powered sensors are simpler to deploy. I just ‘peel and stick’.

FACT
In the majority of cases, an installation project team is still required to fix sensors to ceilings and to maintain them.

MYTH #2

Battery powered sensors have similar coverage to wired solutions.

FACT

Battery powered sensors often rely on low resolution cameras to try and conserve battery power. These low res cameras result in lower coverage range per sensor and the need to purchase more individual units to have whole floor coverage.

MYTH #3
Battery powered sensors can effectively support real time use cases.

FACT
Battery powered sensors are often configured to only capture sighting every 5 -10 minutes or else the batteries drain too quickly. With large gaps in the data being collected you miss capturing key information on paths of movement, COVID capacity limits and shorter encounters/meetings. You don’t get the full picture.

MYTH #4
It’s cheaper. I don’t need to pay for cabling.

FACT
Sensor batteries will drain at different times depending on the activity being recorded. This creates an expensive, never ending battery maintenance program with different sensors offline at different times and requiring manual maintenance to change. With sensor batteries offline you also risk data continuity.

MYTH #5
It’s ok. I’ll just keep reserves of batteries.

FACT

For a 20,000 seat organisation, battery-powered sensors could generate as much as 500kg – 1 tonne of toxic battery waste every 2-3 years. Excessive battery waste threatens sustainability goals and creates another waste management factor for teams.

There’s now a better way…

When engineering our advanced sensor, the XY Sense team recognized the pitfalls of both battery and traditional PoE deployment methods for workplace sensors.

That’s why we came up with something new.


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XY Sense’s innovative Senselink™ deployment allows multiple sensors to be ‘daisy-chained’ together during installation to draw power+ data from a single Communications Hub.

  • Each branch can power up to 6 sensors

  • Total length of each branch (6 sensors) can be up to 150m length

  • Each Communciations Hub can have up to 4 branches, powering a total of 18 sensors per Hub.

  • Customers typically install 1-3 Hubs per floor (depending on size)

    Benefits of Senselink™

  • Minimises the total cost of sensor installation with 80% less cabling required vs. traditional PoE. Plus, no expensive managed switches are required.

  • Helps teams avoid ongoing resourcing costs for monitoring and changing out sensor batteries.

  • Ensures data continuity for sensors in real time mode. Sensors capture occupancy and paths of movement every 2 secs with no risk of losing data due to battery outages.

  • Leverage more sustainable/renewable energy sources from your building and meet sustainability goals. Avoid excessive battery waste.

When you combine XY Sense smart Senselink™ deployment options with each sensor’s huge coverage (1000ft/ ~20 desks per sensor) and real time accuracy (<1ft every 2 seconds), it’s easy to see why XY Sense is fast becoming the workplace sensor of choice for today’s property teams.

Ready to learn more about how XY Sense could reduce sensor costs and complexity across your portfolio?

Get in touch with our team.

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