Energy Consumption of Low Power Wide Area Network Node Devices in the Industrial, Scientific and Medical Band

University essay from KTH/Skolan för elektroteknik och datavetenskap (EECS)

Abstract: Low-Power Wide-Area Networks, LPWANs, achieve long communication ranges with a low energy consumption by communicating at low bit rates. Most LPWAN devices are battery powered and are required to operate for an extended period of time, which stresses the requirements for energy efficiency. This thesis investigates the energy consumption of LPWAN devices operating in the Industrial, Scientific and Medical, ISM, band and how use cases affect the consumption. Specifically, LoRa/LoRaWAN and Sigfox are examined. Their key characteristics are described and energy consumption is modelled. The models are verified by comparing the model outputs with measured power consumption of LoRa and Sigfox devices. Through the models, design parameters are investigated with regards to consumption, and product lifetime are estimated. The influence of use cases on energy consumption is explored by measuring the Package Delivery Ratio, PDR, at different ranges using various bit transmission rates.The results showed that the bitrate, data redundancy and protocol overhead were among parameters which could be used to optimise energy efficiency. It was also shown, that the device lifetimes could be significantly increased by increasing the transmission interval and removing message acknowledgements. Realistically, LoRa devices can have a lifetime of more than 10 years and Sigfox 3 years, using a 2800 mWh battery. The use case tests showed that a 100 % PDR should not be expected at any bitrate, but lower bitrates and messaging redundancy increase the likelihood of a successful package delivery. Hence, there is a tradeoff between low energy consumption and range/reliability. Additionally, it was found that a low node to gateway distance and a high gateway density increase the probability of a successful transaction. Thus, the power consumption is tightly coupled to the network configuration.

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