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Here Comes the Sun: Kyocera Solar Powers Marine Big Data and Ocean IoT
September 14, 2016 News

Power is an issue for all IoT supplications, but it doesn’t have to be with a huge thermonuclear generator just a few million miles away. I’m talking about the sun, of course. Getting energy from solar is ideal for IoT, since it’s easy to store, never runs out and can be implanted for an ever-decreasing cost to OEMs.

Kyocera is deploying such solar panels right now, tested specifically for long-term deployment in marine and coastal areas. The company is calling it the Ocean Internet of Things remote data monitoring platform and it’s off the coast of Huntington Beach, California. The new NOMAD sea buoy that is hosting the platform was developed by eMarine Systems for the 100-acre Catalina Sea Ranch and is designed to monitor a specific area in the ocean. The buoy is loaded with IoT sensors that transmit a variety of marine data in real-time to the wireless cloud, providing government agencies, the scientific community and research institutions a web-based analysis of the ocean.

“We selected Kyocera’s solar panels because they’re known for long-term reliability and quality,” said Bob Everhard, Sales Manager, eMarine Systems. “Knowing the panels have proven to withstand even the harshest coastal conditions ensures this innovative marine IoT solution will provide uninterrupted transmission of compelling data from the sea without costly and time-consuming maintenance issues.”

The buoy is an aluminum boat 10 feet wide and 20 feet long with equipment and batteries below deck.  Four Kyocera 145W solar panels and a vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) are supported by solar charge controllers and a battery monitor, which network together to provide power for the buoy’s remote monitoring capability. A Sea-Bird MicroCAT sensor on the buoy monitors water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, phytoplankton density and sensor depth. Real-time cameras mounted to the mast provide security for the aquaculture ranch, and the buoy’s internal battery voltage and processor temperature are remotely monitored to help ensure optimal performance.  In the future, the buoy will measure pH levels and pings from acoustic tags placed on marine mammals by researchers. It will also feature additional above- and below-water live camera feeds.

“Kyocera has more than 40 years of expertise producing PV solar panels that are widely known for durability and reliability, features that are also present in our ruggedized smartphones and long-life office document equipment,” said Cecilia Aguillon, director, market development, Solar Energy Group, Kyocera International. “Our solar modules are made to withstand harsh conditions in both aquaculture and agriculture environments, to help bring innovative solutions like the NOMAD buoy to life.”

The future is looking bright.

 This article was originally published on and can be viewed in full here