Is ESP32 Mesh a viable solution?

samkristoff
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2020 12:28 am

Is ESP32 Mesh a viable solution?

Postby samkristoff » Fri Mar 20, 2020 12:42 am

Hey,

I'm working on an IoT project that will be deployed in various locations including inside office buildings and on building rooftops. Each building may have anywhere from 20 to 1000 nodes distributed throughout the building. Each node sends a ~1KB packet every 15 seconds to a gateway which pushes the data to our servers.

Our current solution uses a 900 Mhz mesh network (Digi Mesh). The range is amazing and it works very well outdoors and indoors with no line of sight, however we cannot support 1000 nodes and meet our throughput needs.

I'm curious if ESP-Mesh would be a viable solution for supporting up to 1000 nodes in a single building with each node pushing a ~1KB packet every 15 seconds. Would it be best to have one network that spans the entire building with a single gateway or break it up into multiple networks with multiple gateways?

I appreciate any insight and advance anyone can share.

Thanks!

-Sam

willemmerson
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:34 pm

Re: Is ESP32 Mesh a viable solution?

Postby willemmerson » Fri Mar 20, 2020 12:25 pm

Just out of interest, why can't you split up your existing mesh into smaller ones?

samkristoff
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2020 12:28 am

Re: Is ESP32 Mesh a viable solution?

Postby samkristoff » Fri Mar 20, 2020 9:50 pm

The underlying protocol has something like 10 channels and each network needs at least 6 channels, so even splitting into two separate networks would result in some channel overlap.

We don't have much control over where we put the nodes, so it's hard to physically subdivide into smaller networks, even if we adjust the radio output power, etc to try to avoid overlap.

-Sam

ESP_LBB
Posts: 107
Joined: Fri May 18, 2018 3:41 am

Re: Is ESP32 Mesh a viable solution?

Postby ESP_LBB » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:31 am

Hi Sam,

We would suggest to split the network into smaller one, like 200 devices for a network. The network can be separated with different MESH ID.

How is the distance would be between devices you set up? And is there low-power required?

samkristoff
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2020 12:28 am

Re: Is ESP32 Mesh a viable solution?

Postby samkristoff » Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:37 pm

Hey,

We monitor many building 'vitals and we're trying to find a general purpose solution that we can deploy in virtually any building from office buildings, to hotels, to warehouses, etc. Therefore the total number of nodes, distance between nodes, and the environment can vary a lot.

We'd often deploy one node in each room in a building, several nodes in large areas, and several nodes distributed over the rooftop.

A typical deployment would average 1 node every ~15 meters throughout a building and on the rooftop. Most nodes will be relatively evenly distributed throughout the building but a deployment might also include clusters of 10's of nodes within a 10m radius or large gaps of 100m+ with no nodes.

All nodes will have wired power, so low power is not a concern.

We can easily add extender / repeater nodes to improve coverage or split a building in to multiple networks with multiple gateways (uplink to 4G network).

Some example deployments:

A 2 story medical office building with 10 offices on each floor for a total of 3000 sqm of office space. We deploy one node in each office, 20 units on the rooftop HVAC and 5 units in the basement (elevator, electrical, etc). Total deployment is 45 nodes

A 1 story grocery store with 3750 sqm of space. We deploy 30 units evenly distributed over the roof and 10 units in the electrical room.

An 10 story office building with 100 rooms per floor. We deploy 1 node in each room for a total of 1000 nodes evenly distributed throughout the building. This could easily be broken up in to multiple networks, for example one per floor, as long as the networks on each floor do not interfere with one another.

I appreciate any insight and guidance you can provide.

Thanks!

-Sam

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