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German Parking Garage Installs Moisture- and Corrosion-Sensing RFID Tags

The passive tags, embedded in the facility's cement supports and roof, can be read using a handheld device, to provide an early warning of any problems.
By Rhea Wessel
The system, which is currently under patent review, was also implemented at the new port completed this year in Rotterdam. Approximately 50 sensors are embedded in the pier wall, Hill reports.

For the parking garage in Boppard, Selfsan Consult worked with the building's architects to define areas where 16 RFID corrosion sensor tags should best be placed. The city did not have a large budget for placing more than 16 corrosion sensors in the garage, so the architects chose to embed the sensors near the parking spots closest to the building's entrance, since these spots are used most often.

Selfsan Consult's Wolfgang Hill
The tags are embedded near supports close to the drains that receive the most salty runoff water. The application utilizes a handheld reader provided by AEG ID that Selfsan Consult and BS2 modified, along with specially modified 125 kHz passive low-frequency (LF) RFID tags compatible with EM Microelectronic's RM 4100 air-interface protocol.

The three-story parking garage has a roof level on which greenery has been planted. The architects opted to place 15 RFID-enabled moisture-monitoring sensors near the roof's drainage system. If the drainage system were to fail, water could collect in unanticipated places and, if it then froze, potentially damage the cement.

"Cement can be unpredictable," Hill states.

The moisture-sensing passive RFID tags are similar to the corrosion sensors, except that the tags are not attached to corrosion-detecting metal wires. Instead, two rings of stainless steel, attached around the sensors, determine the presence of moisture when the electrical resistance between the rings changes.

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