Everactive Batteryless IoT
Supports Mission
at the Second Largest
U.S. Air Force Base

Hill Air Force Base Investing in Batteryless IoT

The Air Force Materiel Command base located in northern Utah is the second largest U.S. Air Force base, with 1,700 facilities sprawled across one million acres.

It is also home to a successful large-scale trial of Everactive’s batteryless Internet of Things (IoT) sensors as part of the second phase of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program that we have in place with the Air Force.

Hill AFB deploys batteryless IoT

Building a Relationship with the U.S. Air Force

On a recent webcast, Everactive’s co-founder and co-CTO, Dr. Ben Calhoun, discussed the project with Frank Konieczny, CTO of the Air Force.

For depot bases like Hill AFB, the Air Force is investing heavily in IoT technologies to provide better ways to manage systems and to orchestrate the data.  But, with a base that size, there are still lot of machinery and infrastructure that do not have any data collection capabilities.

In fact, the sheer scale of the base is the reason.  Typical IoT technologies require batteries, which introduce new and inevitable maintenance events in the form of battery replacements.  For organizations like the Air Force that are trying to introduce cost savings and efficiency to maintenance processes, the prospect of adding thousands of devices to the maintenance schedule defeats much of the purpose.  In addition to the logistical and financial hassle, this would also introduce a severe environmental problem—forcing the base to contribute to the growing environmental harm due to the manufacture and disposal of batteries.

Mr. Konieczny met our team while engaging with the Silicon Valley ecosystem and engaged with Everactive through AFWERX, the Air Force technology accelerator and a key program for introducing innovative new companies and technologies to the Air Force in its search to support its missions.  Everactive has proceeded through the AFWERX process, including a Phase I SBIR contract to demonstrate the impact of its technology.  Based on that impact, Everactive is now in the midst of a Phase II contract that has Hill AFB utilizing over 1,000 of Everactive’s groundbreaking batteryless devices.

Full-Stack Energy Harvesting Solutions

Hill AFB has deployed Everactive’s first two products—its Machine Health Monitoring (MHM) and Steam Trap Monitoring (STM) solutions.  Both of these solutions are based on Everactive’s full stack low power, energy harvesting technology breakthroughs.  Everactive sensors are powered exclusively from low levels of harvested energy, eliminating batteries completely.  The batteryless devices reliably transmit data continuously and wirelessly at long range to Everactive’s IoT gateways, and then back to the cloud, where the company analyzes the data to provide actionable insights about the operating health of the monitored equipment.  sensors transmit data continuously to base stations using the Evercloud low power wireless protocol.

Batteryless IoT Delivers Significant Returns

The Everactive Machine Health Monitoring solution transmits vibration, temperature, and magnetic field data to the cloud, which Everactive uses as an early-warning detection for machine faults.  Serving as an “always-on check engine light,” the MHM solution provides maintenance personnel with the information required to optimize rounds.  Rather than visit each and every machine, personnel can direct resources only when and where they are required.

The STM solution adapts that technology for steam trap monitoring to determine the operating state of these vital relief valves used throughout manufacturing, heating & cooling, and sterilization applications.  Failed steam traps represent huge energy waste, excess CO2 emissions, and the risk of costly and dangerous downtime events.  For a site like the Hill AFB, which generates an enormous amount of steam for both heating & cooling and manufacturing, real-time insight into the health of steam traps—and the ability to fix failures quickly—can save the site millions of dollars each year, while also dramatically reducing the base’s carbon footprint.

As Everactive continues to showcase its technology at Hill during the Phase II SBIR, the company anticipates follow-on deployments with other branches and bases to continue to optimize efficiency and lower costs for vital segments of the military.