Solar energy to power RFID-based asset tracking systems

Tuesday, 05 February, 2008

Savi Technology has begun deploying solar-powered RFID readers and signposts, enabling users in the defence and commercial sectors to conserve energy and reduce costs while tracking supplies in real time.

Solar energy provides an energy-efficient and environmentally friendly power source for users’ RFID hardware, and also eliminates the need to install electrical infrastructure in remote areas where there is no fixed reader infrastructure.

Savi engineers mounted solar panels and RFID signposts on poles located at a major US Army supply facility in Kuwait. The solar-powered signposts activate RFID tags attached to vehicles or pieces of equipment. The tags then report the assets’ positions to nearby RFID readers, which relay the information to Savi Site Manager software that automatically updates the assets’ latest location.

These tools enable the facility to track more than 25,000 tags per day.

“We continue to have challenges with providing adequate power for the installation of RFID sites in austere locations,” said Lt Col Patrick Burden, US Army Product Management Office of Joint Automatic Identification Technology (PM J-AIT).

“We are always looking for innovative ways to address these critical issues to support Warfighter needs.”

Plans are underway with the U.S. Department of Defense to expand the use of solar-powered applications to other areas in the Middle East and beyond.

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