It is erroneously admitted that wireless monitoring is more cost-effective than wired. In general, this is true. However, it is totally false when applied to hundreds or thousands of steam traps, e.g. in refineries, petrochemical plants, ...

The following two schemes highlights some critical points of ineffectiveness in wireless networks with hundreds of steam traps and how wired architecture is much more effective in solving them:

BiTherm Monitoring Solutions


The following table compares critical points in steam traps monitoring:

1 Where are steam traps usually located? Very close to the ground?
2 Where must radio antennas be usually located? The farther from the ground the better (just the opposite of steam traps)
3 How does the ground & obstacles affect wireless range? Transmitter proximity to the ground limits its distance range to less than 50 m.
4 Is wireless cheaper than wire monitoring? Not always. It depends on steam traps distribution,..., e.g., wire is less expensive in refineries!!
5 How can wired be cheaper than wireless monitoring? Because a single cable connects up to 64 steam traps (average 15 m cable/steam trap). 15 m of cable is worth much less than a wireless transmitter and does not require maintenance
6 Is wireless monitoring simpler than wired? No. Wireless structure is much more complex, it requires Access Points (APs), routers, batteries,...
7 Is wireless more reliable than wire? Not at all. Obviuosly wire is always much more reliable than wireless
8 Does wireless monitoring require some cable? Yes, it almost always requires cable to power multiple APs continuously
9 Does wireless monitoring require optical fiber? Yes, it almost always requires optical fiber to communicate data between APs and Gateways
10 Does wire monitoring require optical fiber? Not at all. The cable has two pairs of wires for power and data
11 Is there any limitations in wireless monitoring? Yes. 100 steam traps/AP. 20 AP/Gateway. Maximum 500 steam traps/Gateway
12 Is there any limitations in wire monitoring? None. A single system can handle thousands and thousands of steam traps.
13 Can be combined wire&wireless monitoring? Yes, by using the optimized SmartWatchWeb clustered wireless topology (see below)
14 Wired references with thousands of steam steam traps? There are dozens of references (see references)
15 Wireless references with thousands of steam traps? None proven reference known (There are only references for very small groups of steam traps)
16 Clustered wireless references with thousands of  traps? (see references)


The SmartWatchWeb™ steam traps monitoring system combines innovative technologies (digitization, sensorization, acquisition and data processing, ...) to perform accurate real-time steam traps failure diagnostics in order to achieve 10% to 20% steam saving by appliying the Intensive Maintenance Methodology on huge population of steam traps.

SmartWatchWeb ™ is the only proven monitoring system with enough scalability to monitor thousands of steam traps. See more than 60 success stories in more than 20 years.

The following diagram shows the powerful SmartWatchWebclustered wireless topology:

SmartWatchWeb Topology

SmartWatchWeb™ offers extraordinary flexibility by combining wired & wireless architectures to easily adapt to any industrial environment. Its high scalability allows monitoring tens of thousands of steam traps in a single monitoring network and platform, reducing installation costs and maintenance.