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RFID News Roundup

Hong Kong power co. deploys RF Code's sensor tags ••• HID Global debuts 8 KB FRAM RFID transponder ••• CAS DataLoggers intros RFID cold chain solutions ••• Farsens unveils battery-free UHF RF field detector for assessing RFID systems ••• RAIN Alliance grows membership, prepares for first meeting.
By Beth Bacheldor
Jul 24, 2014

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations: RF Code, Quantum Data Systems; HID Global; CAS DataLoggers; Farsens; and RAIN Alliance.

Hong Kong Power Co. Deploys RF Code's Sensor Tags

RF Code and Quantum Data Systems (QDS), an IT solutions distributor headquartered in Hong Kong, have announced that a major Hong Kong power company has been using RF Code's environmental and power-management solutions in its data centers. As result, RF Code reports, the power company has reduced downtime, manpower and overtime associated with four primary computer rooms. According to RF Code, the power company in question provides electrical service to more than half a million homes and businesses in the region. Several months ago, it contacted QDS seeking a solution that would help it reduce the amount of energy—and, thus, the amount of money it was spending—to cool its data center.

RF Code's R155 Humidity-Temperature Tag
The power company is using 400 of RF Code's battery-powered 433 MHz RFID sensor tags at its facilities to monitor and control all modes of power generation, transmission and distribution. RF Code's environmental monitoring infrastructure is integrated with QDS's DC Insight data center monitoring solution, and includes RF Code's readers and compact, peel-and-stick sensors. The RF Code sensor network provides a continuous flow of environmental data to DC Insight, which immediately alerts the power company's management team if it detects any hazardous changes to the environment.

The solution is helping the company proactively addresses issues in real time, according to RF Code. The company first installed a proof-of-concept (POC) deployment consisting of 40 RF Code temperature sensors paired with readers and software for a single remote computer room. After only the first few months of deployment, RF Code reports, the solution had alerted operational staff about condensation accumulating beneath the raised floor, steadily rising temperatures due to a variable refrigerant volume/variable refrigerant flow (VRF/VRV) failure, as well as hot and cold spots in equipment racks and computer rooms, caused by improper or inadequate air circulation.

The RFID-based solution replaced a building management system (BMS) the power company had implemented that featured basic environmental monitoring capabilities and provided information regarding temperature and humidity levels surrounding server racks. However, RF Code notes, the power company found that the BMS could not easily scale with its growing IT environment, or integrate with its existing back-end systems, that it was becoming too costly, and that it lacked any method of notifying personnel when the temperature, humidity or other environmental metrics fell outside acceptable ranges, or when other system failures occurred. This, RF Code adds, prevented the Hong Kong utility from taking a proactive approach to disaster prevention.

Now that the power company can reliably monitor its four primary computer rooms with the integrated solution from RF Code and QDS, it plans to expand the solution to more than 30 network equipment rooms located throughout its facilities. What's more, RF Code reports, the company is also considering leveraging the existing RF Code reader infrastructure to include RF Code's asset-management solutions to track the 1,500 assets that reside on its sites.

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