General Construction & Buildings

Wireless networking of sensor systems for use in building automation and remote meter reading

The project’s aim is to develop a wireless electronic sensor system for application in building automation and remote meter reading. The project focuses primarily on energy generation from gas and water flow and on the design of sensor nodes for meter reading with the best-possible energy efficiency.


Implementation of battery-free data transmission has in practice so far been possible only for light switches. As the technology used cannot be applied in achieving the project’s aim, the project attempted to develop alternative solutions.

Radio communication was to be designed in such a way as to allow electrical energy to be supplied in part through micro-inductive transducers. The sensors to be used are intended for operation on commercially available meters. The required energy is to be supplied through the motion of a permanent magnet. The recorded data on gas or water units consumed are then sent to the consumer or meter reader as required. The sensor system also incorporates a central station via which the sensor nodes communicate the measurement data through the GSM network.


  • For the energy supply, a tube adapter was designed that is capable of generating energy for the sensor and radio modules from the flowing medium.
  • It was successfully verified that this energy source can be realised with the medium water.
  • Remote meter reading was successfully tested using newly developed sensors and transmitters.
  • Even though the project pursued complex approaches, cooperation with active partners facilitated successful implementation. The project’s results will from now on be integrated in future projects by WIKON and co.met.

More Project Informations

Project title:  Verbundprojekt FERN (Flow Enabled Radio Network)

Project number:  0330864 A-D

Project period:  2008 - 2011

Project region:  Germany (Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland)

Project contact:

Herr Dipl.-Ing. Neumann

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Source:  Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)