Carmanah lantern efficiency in Columbia
Carmanah Technologies’ M860 marine lantern with satellite monitoring has been helping improve safety and efficiency for Dirección General Marítima Autoridad Marítima Colombiana (DIMAR) at two Columbian ports.
In 2013, DIMAR piloted the M860 at Cartagena and Buenaventura. With onboard satellite-based monitoring capabilities and energy-efficient IALA compliant LED optics, the M860 lantern provided a reliable, low-maintenance and cost-effective solution.
With peak intensity of up to 475 candela, the M860 base model features high-efficiency solar panels and is lightweight and compact. DIMAR M860 lanterns also included an integrated chipset that enabled the lanterns to communicate directly with a wide-coverage satellite network.
DIMAR was able to rely on a single hardware unit to achieve both IALA compliant signalling and a data service that could transmit essential health and geolocation information back to a dedicated secure web service. By combining these two critical systems into a single lightweight hardware unit, DIMAR was able to benefit from faster, simpler installation without external connectors for fewer points of failure.
Carmanah developed an online reporting tool for DIMAR, suitable for multiple users. The system provides information on battery state-of-charge, temperature conditions, battery voltages and on/off status for each individual lantern.
In addition, the web interface notifies the user when a lantern has entered Carmanah’s Automatic Light Control (ALC) mode. This optional ALC feature recognizes trends in battery charging and adjusts light intensities under persistently poor weather conditions to prevent the battery from reaching a critical state. There are also email alerts in cases where a critical anomaly has been detected.
A critical ability for DIMAR was to be able to achieve dependable data transmission in areas beyond the reach of reliable mobile coverage. Carmanah chose to integrate the M860 to a satellite platform which uses a direct sequence spread spectrum, a redundant chipping code that helps resist interference and multiple transmissions to increase reliability.
To ensure that DIMAR did not have to compromise on their autonomy or range requirements, the M860 included several key energy management features. The Carmanah Monitoring Service uses a highly efficient, low-power chipset to minimise load on the battery. The Carmanah M860 also uses Maximum Power Point Tracking to automatically adjust charge voltages with temperature changes to prevent manage and ensure full usage.
By Rebecca Jeffrey
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