Battery-Powered Wireless Terminal to Control Network Sensors from Mitsubishi Electric

March 18, 2020 by Alessandro Mascellino

How do you choose a wireless communication terminal and what features are the most important?

Mitsubishi Electric announced the new BLEnDer, (Bid Liaison and Energy Dispatcher) Intelligent Communication Edge (ICE), battery-powered wireless communication terminal.

The device is designed for use in sensor networks to collect gas and water data from meters and remotely control sensors in the networks.

According to the company, the BLEnDer ICE terminal was developed to respond to changes in the power industry and to optimize utilities in order to realize more efficient operations.


The BLEnDer ICE terminal

The new device was created by Mitsubishi Electric for flawless integration with the company’s software suite.

In fact, the BLEnDer ICE wireless communication terminal will work in conjunction with both the BLEnDer HE (Head End) software, used to manage and control smart meters through various communication methods, and the BLEnDer MESH software, which features wireless multi-hop communication to create a wide range smart meter communication network.

Mitsubishi Electric’s latest terminal also features a low cost sub-GHz wireless communication system, which can connect to most devices without specialist help.

The BLEnDer ICE can be used both for smart-meter networks and for expanding existing communication networks.

In terms of specs, the RoHS compliant device has an operating temperature between -25℃ to 70℃, is powered by a lithium battery pack and features natural air cooling capabilities.


A Versatile Product

By using standard communication interfaces, the BLEnDer ICE terminal is ideal for connectivity uses not only with gas and water meters but also with other sensing equipment.

The versatility of the device is also shown by the fact that, with its lithium battery pack, it can operate with no external power supply.


Blender ice terminal

Possible Service applications for BLEnDer ICE. Image used courtesy of Mitsubishi Electric.


The BLEnDer ICE can then be deployed in harsh environments where installing a power supply can be cumbersome or difficult.

Mitsubishi Electric said the device should have a lifespan of about ten years, which is on average the lifespan of most meters.


More Efficient Operations

As mentioned above, the BLEnDer ICE terminal is part of Mitsubishi Electric’s effort to align with changes in the power industry.

These changes were caused by the period of high economic growth in Japan between the 1960s and 1980s.

Economy prosperity turned into technological growth and the creation of new work opportunities, which helped the country at first but ultimately translated into labor shortages and the aging of equipment installed in industrial settings.

To fix both issues at the same time, there has been a growing demand among utilities and public infrastructure operators for the IoT solutions aimed at creating more efficient operations while also ensuring stable services.

Mitsubishi Electric has been driving this change, using its BLEnDer package software since 2014 to provide utility network solutions to businesses and by doing so fostering the deregulation of Japan’s electric-power sector and other IoT public infrastructure.

The company now intends to build on its past successes and create new solutions for renewable energy, virtual power plants (VPP) and micro-grids.

As shown by the new BLEnDer ICE terminal capabilities, Mitsubishi Electric also intends to keep supporting the development of interfaces required for remote monitoring and control of demand-side and distributed energy resources.


Will you use the BLEnDer ICE terminal?