Looking for suggestions

I am looking for some suggestions on how we might be able to use the E Series ( or Electron) to relay sensor data back to a central source. I’m not worried about the data storage side as there are numerous sites I could push data to but lets assume for now it’s Azure IoT.

For the sensors I have a need to deploy sensors in about 25 locations as part of a pilot project next spring but assuming it goes well we will be scaling it up to hundreds of locations. These locations will be scattered across Canada typically in agricultural areas where we are assuming we’ll have cell coverage but no power outlet. Given that we don’t have power we will have to run off batteries (with or without solar panels).

With regard to the sensors I need to measure ambient temperature, water temperature and water levels using an ultrasonic sensor.

One of the aspects that’s potentially restrictive in hardware selection is the need to deploy once and have it run for years monitoring hourly through spring, summer and fall. I don’t necessarily need it to send back data during the winter months but I don’t want to have to visit the sites each spring so they’ll have to withstand the cold and be able to wake up in spring.

I currently have another solution in prototype but it requires a dedicated cell modem that has its own power requirements so having the Electron being an all in one solution has great appeal if we can make it work for us.

You can use a solar panel to keep the Electron running all year long along with some code I have shared on here to keep the Electron from draining down past 20% to keep the Electron from getting into a low voltage brownout state.

Check out Losant.com for a very easy to use dashboard backend service. I like it better than any of the other alternatives including Azure.

What type of water are you measuring?

I’m using Losant for my other IoT device and agree it is very slick.

I work for a conservation company that has water control structures located across Canada that I need to monitor the water levels at to ensure there isn’t an issue with the dam. Those would be mostly on medium to large wetlands / lakes so fresh water.

Cool! Love to hear how all this stuff is being put to good use.

There shouldn’t be any issues accomplishing your goal.

I would go with these solar panels, I would choose the 3.5 - 6 watts panels depending on how often you’re wanting to publish.


Something like this?

Yep, I was using a 3w panel in the winter to publish every 5 mins without any problems. If you publish less frequently then that panel will do you just fine.

How cold is your winter? It can get extremely cold in Western Canada…as in -40F cold. I don’t expect readings at that temp but it will have to survive and begin pushing data when it warms up again.

-20 at the worst usually. Doesn’t really matter, all the equipment is up to the task except the battery will only supply around 50% of it’s rated capacity at these lower temps. Since you only need a burst of energy to send data the battery should work just fine.

So would you suggest I get the Electron or the E Series model for our needs?

I would start with the E-Series since it has the solid state SIM cards that will not provide any problems like the older SIM card holders on the original Electrons that have been replaced with new sim card holders.

I would feel comfortable starting with either of those 2 options for prototyping.

You can use 3rd part sims with the Electron but not with the E series.

Ok I’ve ordered the E series kit and the 6 watt solar panel kit that comes with the v15 battery. When it arrives I’ll drop it out side in the cold and see how it holds up. Thanks for the assistance!

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