There are so many options for low-power wireless communication these days. BLE is everywhere, and many other manufacturers try to push their protocols as well. LoRa, Dust, Zigbee, Thread, Sigfox, etc., the list is long. What I think is lacking is a good way to compare the total energy consumption. Data rate and transmit power are easy, but there are so many other variables that make it difficult to compare.
What is interesting is the lowest possible energy consumption for a transmission period, and thereby the longest possible lifespan, but obviously also for the sensor node to function in the environment it is designed for.
This question would be much too broad without some constraints, so these are listed below.
Q: Which is the most low energy wireless protocol?
- Industrial enviroment (WiFi present, but not crowded 2.4 GHz like residential areas)
- Data packages of 10 kB (kilobytes)
- Range up to 150 m inside steel structure with some steel obstacles
- Transmission period 1/week
- Network of potentially 1000 nodes
- Highly predictable lifespan if supplied from primary battery
- It is allowed for a power manager to disable the voltage supply to the wireless subsystem, though some protocols are designed to be always powered and have a low power keep-alive communication going (Dust comes to mind)