Tracking by sun: RFID goes solar

Solar-powered Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

Savi Technology, a unit of Lockheed Martin, has announced it recently began deploying solar-powered Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) readers and signposts located at a major U.S. Army supply facility in Kuwait. The solar-powered signposts activate RFID tags attached to vehicles or pieces of equipment. The tags then report the assets’ positions to nearby RFID readers, which relay the information to Savi Site Manager software that automatically updates the assets’ latest location.

According to Savi, use of solar energy provides an energy efficient and environmentally friendly power source for users’ RFID hardware, and also eliminates the need to install electrical infrastructure in remote areas where there is no fixed reader infrastructure. The tools installed in Kuwait enable the facility to track more than 25,000 tags per day. Plans are also underway with the U.S. Department of Defense to expand the use of solar-powered applications to other areas in the Middle East and beyond.

Solar-powered signposts

Savi Networks also operates a solar-powered RFID-based network in Colombia. There, Savi RFID signposts and readers are used to track the status and security of containerized cargo shipments managed by Emprevi Ltda., a Colombia-based provider of logistics and security services for major importers and exporters. Savi Networks, a joint venture in which Savi Technology holds a majority interest, installed solar-powered panels at strategic supply chain checkpoints, including source factories and port facilities, to monitor in-transit goods manufactured in and exported from Colombia.