GE Global Research has been selected to lead a project to develop low cost wireless sensor networks for industrial equipment monitoring. Collaborating with GE on the project are Sensicast Systems and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Wireless sensors will be installed on selected motors to measure parameters critical to each motor’s condition and efficiency, such as vibration, temperature and power quality. The data will be transmitted to plant operators via phone, pager or e-mail, and should allow plant personnel to repair or replace motors before their efficiency drops or they fail entirely. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has provided a $6 million grant, which, if the project is successful, may save in excess of 120 trillion BTUs.