Z-Beacon is the world’s first autonomous BLE beacon. So what? There’s a big difference!
While competitor products use either batteries or wired power to supply their operation, Z-Beacon uses Zolitron Micro-Energy-Harvesting, in this case driven through ambient light. Here’s why you should get your calculators out and compare maintenance costs and workload.
Autonomous power supply allows you to save thousands of Euros on maintenance costs, as it runs virtually maintenance-free. In the following we want to compare Z-Beacons maintenance costs (0€) to a battery-powered BLE beacon. Let’s start by laying down several reasonable assumptions working out for most beacon deployment projects:
Conventional battery-powered BLE-Beacon:
Operation time for deployment: 10 Years
Beacons per deployment: 300
Average battery lifetime @ 500ms advertisement interval: 6 Months = 0.5 Years
Price per battery: 1.5 €
Workload per battery exchange: 10 Minutes
That was easy! Now let’s do the math, first for the costs associated with the batteries:
(Operation Time/Battery Lifetime) * Beacons * Battery Price = Total Battery Costs
(10 Years/0.5 Years) * 300 * 1.5 € = 9000 €
Over 10 Years, 9.000 € are spent on coin cell batteries alone. Not only is that comparable to the costs of the beacons themselves when they were bought in the first place, it is also a huge waste of resources and unkind to the environment, since coin cells are hardly recyclable. But that’s not all. Let’s continue with costs associated with labour:
(Operation Time/Battery Lifetime) * Beacons * Workload = Total Maintenance Workload
(10 Years/0.5 Years) * 300 * 10 Min. = 1000 Hours = 15.000 € (@15€/h)
Over 10 Years, 1000 hours of consecutive work are spent at least to replace batteries, that is if all the batteries went out at the same time, which they don’t. Rather they have to be constantly monitored and dead beacons have to be replaced by technical personnel, adding an undefined factor to the total maintenance workload. Even at a comparatively low wage of 15€/h, the maintenance labour adds another 15.000 € to the total bill, totaling at 24.000 € including batteries.
In conclusion: 1.000 h of technical work and 9.000 € in batteries are spent on maintenance of an average beacon deployment using conventional BLE beacons. In contrast: 0 € and 0 h of work are spent on maintaining autonomous Z-Beacons.
Though conservative assumptions were used for this calculation and the actual maintenance costs will likely be higher. Even if lower prices, wages and less beacons fit your project better, Z-Beacons still spare a considerable amount of constant maintenance in your Indoor-Navigation, Asset Tracking or Local-Based-Service Project, also enabling projects where the sheer size wouldn’t reasonable allow this technology!
We’re looking forward hearing about your project idea. Please feel free to get into contact and learn about the difference our autonomous technology makes in your plans.