What are the power demands for a solar powered wireless modem?

Beverly McRae

Calculating modem power demand is based on measuring the known power consumption characteristics of the modem/gateway.

These can be broken down into power demands for four states: Transmit, Receive, Idle, and Power Save. USAT examines data usage, keep alive pings, and other modem activity to calculate the daily power consumption along with a variance factor to create both the maximum demand and the maximum running average the modem will have. These results let us calculate battery life for battery backup and solar power (off-grid) arrays.

USAT has modeled modem power consumption characteristics for many makes of wireless equipment including the Sierra Wireless AirLink® Raven, Sierra Wireless AirLink® PinPoint, Sierra Wireless AirLink® GX-400, Sierra Wireless AirLink® GX-440, Encore Bandits, Cradlepoint COR and MBR, Digi Connect, Digi WR, and Digi Transport, CalAMP, Multitech and Red Lion Sixnet Bluetree. Wireless modules designed for Sprint’s network varies in energy consumption from T-Mobile’s and AT&T’s network which varies in energy consumption from Verizon network. Likewise we need to explore whether the modem will be on GPRS, HSDPA, HSUPA, or 1x-RTT, or EVDO rev A or 0. Likewise 4G presents different module consumptions whether running LTE, or WiMAX, or one of the HSPA+ variants. Each device has unique power requirements, and these all vary based on the intended application. Let USAT size the solar system for you leveraging our engineering expertise specific to solar and wireless data applications.

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