Battery-Less IoT Sensor Technology Cuts Costs


PsiKick’s Steam Trap Monitor (STM) continuously analyzes steam traps to deliver cost-saving insights across a range of industrial environments. Steam traps, which are designed to discharge unwanted condensate, are critical components in the vast steam systems utilized worldwide for manufacturing, power-generation, heating, sterilization, and other processes.  Despite their prevalence, steam traps are notoriously faulty; according to the U.S. Department of Energy, unmaintained traps show failure rates of 3-5 years.


Leveraging semiconductor design technology developed by researchers at both the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia, PsiKick’s STM system consists of proprietary sensors, called "Smart Sense Nodes" (or S2Ns), that are powered exclusively from harvested energy from heat or indoor light, therefore eliminating the need for a battery. No batteries mean no maintenance costs over the S2N’s lifetime, which is guaranteed to exceed 20 years.  S2Ns—one per steam trap— transmit data upon request using PsiKick’s proprietary low-power Psi-Fi protocol to “Control Nodes” gateways that provide multiple backhaul options. 


The PK Cloud features a proprietary algorithm that analyzes the continuous sensor data for key insights, such as steam trap failure states and the costs associated with those failures. The application includes what is said to be an easy-to-use interface that allows for straightforward configuration and provisioning, displays real-time dashboard data, and generates failure notifications and alerts.


First-generation Smart Sense Nodes can communicate roughly 100 feet in crowded industrial settings. The company is planning a next-generation S2N with a range of 900 feet. The STM features a temperature range for outdoor and indoor applications up to 392°F.  PsiKick devices are also IP66-rated for protection against dust and water and Class I, Division 2 rated for deployment in hazardous locations.


For more information, checkout the STM tech page and/or email [email protected]. Also, visit PsiKick.