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Battery Monitoring System for Emergency Lighting in Buildings using a LoRa Wireless Network
Dec 2020

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Emergency lighting is one of the most important safety measures in a building, especially during an evacuation in the case of a fire hazard, when electrical power might be shut off completely. One of the most common types of emergency lighting is the use of self-contained battery-powered lighting units.

According to the Hong Kong Code of Practice for Fire Safety in Buildings, the batteries in self-contained emergency lighting must be tested monthly to ensure that they are in good condition. Currently, a manual test performed by physically pressing a test button is the common industry practice for battery discharge tests. This project proposes a new testing procedure that makes use of an IoT-based LoRa controller.

The LoRa controller, installed in the lighting fixture, connects the power and battery circuit, disconnects the mains power and discharges the battery for a preset duration at scheduled testing times. The measurements of battery current and voltage during discharge are automatically recorded and analysed in the LoRa controller. The conditions of every individual battery-powered light and the battery reliability status can thus be assessed on a real-time basis. The connectivity between controllers, battery status and data on voltage and current can be viewed on the dashboard of the IoT cloud platform, enabling immediate real-time monitoring of the condition of emergency lighting systems.

A single building can contain several thousand emergency lighting units. For ease of tracking emergency lighting unit locations, a 3D model is also incorporated into the cloud dashboard through data exchange programs. Users can use this to quickly locate a specific emergency light.

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