WiBACK solar

For everyone, everywhere

In the mountains

Solar-powered WiBACK node, Colombia.

On vast fields

Autonomous WiBACK node powered by solar energy in Hennef, Germany.

On the treetops

Solar-powered WiBACK node providing WLAN access to hikers during the day in Bruneck, Italy.

Key Facts

WiBACK solar...

  • is a node that can solely work on solar energy with an external solar panel of about 100W.
  • enables to implement a sustainable network with a low CO2 footprint.
  • consists of low energy components and works energy-efficiently.
  • can also be powered via wide-range DC input, Power-Over-Ethernet (PoE), next to a built-in solar charger incl. battery.
  • has a built-in solar charger for LiFePo batteries with a lifetime of about five years (dimensioned for running every day nonstop).

Solving out-of-range-problems with WiBACK solar

Solving out-of-range-problems

Especially in rural and remote regions, reliable energy supply is often a major obstacle. Even if a power grid is present, its stability might be limited.

Furthermore, to optimize radio conditions and signal propagation, the ideal locations to deploy wireless nodes are elevated landmarks (high buildings or hills). In sparsely populated areas, such hills are typically not anywhere close to a power grid. Hence, alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, fuel cells, etc., are typical alternatives.

Low energy components 

The costs of such energy systems depend highly on their dimensioning. Every Watt counts. Hence, keeping a wireless node's energy footprint as low as possible is key to an affordable solution.

As these are the typical constraints in unconnected areas, WiBACK nodes were designed to be extremely energy conversing while providing stable and predictable throughput. This was achieved by a high integration of carefully chosen, well-matched components.

WiBACK solar node

WiBACK nodes can typically be powered via wide-range DC input, Power-Over-Ethernet (PoE), or a built-in solar charger incl. battery. 

Our latest WBACK-4-Connect node features a built-in solar charger for LiFePo batteries. The built-in battery has been dimensioned for 24/7/365 operation for areas roughly within the equatorial belt. The lifetime of this battery is about five years. This node just requires an external solar panel (about 100W) to be operational.

Hence, unless the node is not stolen or damaged otherwise, such WiBACK nodes have extremely low maintenance requirements and are perfectly suited for remote deployments.

Next steps in research and development

Rather an R&D topic, an option to save costs on energy supply is to consider whether network performance or even availability may depend on the temporal availability of energy (i.e., day vs. night usage). By closely monitoring the incoming energy and its batteries' charge level, the network may limit its resources to critical services. While the building blocks for such a dynamic network are available within WiBACK, a proper algorithm would have to be developed.