Wireless Door Power (Securitron ICPT)

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Sep 05, 2012

Wireless electricity? Door hardware is hardly known as 'high tech', but a new product from Assa Abloy needs no wires to transfer power between the frame and door. What are the limitations of the product? Is it useful or is it a gimmick? In this note, we break down the offering and compare it to 'low tech' alternatives.

Product Specs

Securiton's ICPT, or 'Inductive Coupling Power Transfer' seemingly does the impossible: it transmits electricity through air. Given the controlled airspace typical of doors and frames, the technology is an interesting solution to the problem of 'how to power hardware hung on doors'. However, a close look reveals important constraints on proper operation:

  • Low-voltage DC power transfer only, and 'air gaps' between door and frame can be a maximum of 0.25" wide.
  • Power options: The voltage is field selectable for either 12 or 24VDC
  • The maximum transferred current of 500MA is suitable for low-demand locks and exit devices.
  • Flexible mounting: Units can be installed on top, swing, and inside edge of doors
  • Wires cannot break: The ICPT is not vulnerable to snapped wires or loose connectors found in wired counterparts
  • Price: MSRP for the ICPT is $159/ set

While not directly related to the ICPT product, the short video clip below illustrates the fundamental technology behind the device and how it 'wirelessly' transmits electricity through an electrical field:

Power Transfers In Use

Bringing electricity to door locks and exit devices is difficult because the door swings apart from the frame and is only attached by hinges. As a result, many 'electrified' door hardware products have internal battery packs instead of being hardwired to power supplies.

However, in some cases, especially frequently opened/closed doors, those batteries can drain quickly and need to be excessively replaced. In these situations, 'power transfers' or 'powered hinges' are used to route wires through the frame, across the hinge, and to the door itself.

Benefits

The Securitron ICPT has all of the benefits of a 'wired' power transfer, without exposing door loops to tampering or power wires to fatigue. Beyond better reliability and less maintenance once installed, the manufacturer also claims the product is cheaper to install because "no door core drilling is required" to route power cables inside the door.

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

The ICPT also has a mounting advantage over 'wired' counterparts, because it can be installed in any edge of the door, not only the 'hinge side'. While the installation gap still needs to be under 0.25" regardless, the unit can be installed in the top edge or even the latch edge of the door without issue. In some cases, locating the power transfer on the alternate edges might simplify cable runs in the frame or to the hardware on the door.

Potential Problems

The downside to powered hinges and wire transfers is their high-maintenance cost and need for frequent replacement. The repetitive opening/closing of the door causes wires to break and connections to work loose over time, and the ICPT claims to eliminate this issue. However, for its advantages, the ICPT also presents the opportunity for new problems compared to wired alternatives:

  • Tampering Issues: Slipping paper or foil in the edge gap risks killing power to dependent devices. The manufacturer suggests the ICPT is only for 'fail secure' devices so that security is not threatened, however the prospect that normal function can be interfered with so easily is a dealbreaking risk some users cannot take.
  • Alignment Issues: Eventual door sag, hinge wear, or even improper closer adjustment can ultimately keep hardware from being powered. Over time, a door will move due to a variety of reasons. Normal wear and tear can prevent a door from 'returning to close' position, and even subtle misalignment between ICPT units can prevent 'wireless' power from being transfered.
  • Painting Issues: The manufacturer gives no direction of how painting, common with doors and frames, affects the unit's operation. Users choosing to deploy these devices should assume that the transfer should not be painted, and masked off to prevent malfunction.
  • Magnetic Interference: The ICPT uses two magnetic coils to function, and as a result can generate significant interference. This could prohibit deployment of the unit in some areas, like medical imaging or clean room environments. The manufacturer suggests the ICPT should not be used in an area where a maglock should not be used for the same reason.
  • No Readers: Although not a decisive 'problem', a drawback of the ICPT is that it transmits power only. This means that the most natural powered device to hang on a door, the reader or keypad, but still be wired for data transmission. As a result, the opportunity to power access control devices is limited to 'all in one' type locksets. For most applications, the ICPT will be used to power 'dumb' electrified hardware.

Comparison

Traditional 'wired' transfers can be purchased for ~$50 to ~$100. While cheaper than the ICPT, these units often require regular adjustment and periodic replacement due to broken wires.

  • Typically, wired transfers are rated for 100,000 cycles, which can be achieved in two years if an opening averages 6 open/shut cycles per hour.
  • The ICPT is not rated for a maximum number of cycles, and could surpass 100,000 cycles with no moving parts to break.

Therefore, the ~$75 to ~$100 premium for the 'wireless' ICPT unit may be offset through reduced maintenance and increased service life. However, because the ICPTs are still unproven in field use, and the the full scope of vulnerabilities and weaknesses may not be understood.

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Access Control Job Walk Guide on May 22, 2019
Significant money can be saved and problems avoided with an access control job walk if you know what to look for and what to ask. By inviting...
LifeSafety Power NetLink Vulnerabilities And Problematic Response on May 20, 2019
'Power supplies' are not devices that many think about when considering vulnerabilities but as more and more devices go 'online', the risks for...
Maglock Selection Guide on May 16, 2019
One of the most misunderstood yet valuable pieces of electrified hardware is the maglock. Few locks are stronger, but myths and confusion surround...
Access Control Request to Exit (RTE) Tutorial on May 13, 2019
For access controlled doors, especially those with maglocks, 'Request to Exit', or 'RTE' devices are required to override electrified locks to...
Mining Company Security Manager Interview on May 10, 2019
First Quantum Minerals Limited (FQML) is a global enterprise with offices on 4 continents and operations in 7 countries with exploratory operations...
Dahua ePoE Long Distance UTP / Coax Tested on May 03, 2019
Dahua's Enhanced PoE (ePoE) line is claiming extended video and power transmission over 600m without repeaters, with devices interchangeable via...
Registration Closed - Spring 2019 IP Networking Course on May 02, 2019
Register now for the Spring 2019 IP Networking course here - Closed. Last chance now.   This is the only networking course designed specifically...
Door Closers Access Control Tutorial on May 02, 2019
Door Closers have an important job: automatically shut doors when they are opened, because an open door cannot control access. In this note, we...
Locking Down Network Connections Guide on Apr 23, 2019
Accidents and inside attacks are risks when network connections are not locked down. Security and video surveillance systems should be protected...
Axis Supports HD Analog on Apr 15, 2019
In 2017, Axis declared 'Everything is IP': Now, in 2019, Axis has released support for HD analog, with their new encoders.  Why the change?...

Most Recent Industry Reports

NJ Law Requires Apprenticeship For Public Works Integrators on May 24, 2019
Few integrators do a formal apprenticeship program. However, now a NJ law is requiring any integrator on public works projects (such as state...
Security / Privacy Journalist Sam Pfeifle Interview on May 24, 2019
Sam Pfeifle is best known as the outspoken former Editor of Security Systems News. After that, he was publications director at the International...
Verkada Video Quality Problems Tested on May 23, 2019
Verkada suffers from numerous video quality problems, not found in commercial IP cameras, new IPVM testing of Verkada vs Axis and Hikvision...
Average Frame Rate Video Surveillance 2019 on May 23, 2019
What is the average frame rated used in video surveillance systems? In IPVM's 2011 statistics, the average was 6-8fps increasing to ~10fps in...
Access Control Job Walk Guide on May 22, 2019
Significant money can be saved and problems avoided with an access control job walk if you know what to look for and what to ask. By inviting...
ASCMA / Monitronics Declares Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Plan on May 22, 2019
Monitronics is entering into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company, also called Ascent Capital Group Inc., aka ASCMA, aka Brinks Home Security,...
US Considers Sanctions Against Hikvision and Dahua on May 22, 2019
The US government is considering blacklisting "up to 5" PRC surveillance firms, including Hikvision and Dahua, Bloomberg reported, with human...
Dahua USA Celebrates 5 Years of Errors on May 21, 2019
Dahua USA is, in their own words, 'celebrating' 5 years in North America or as trade magazine SSN declared: Dahua Technology finds success in...
Axis ~$150 Outdoor Camera Tested on May 21, 2019
Axis has released the latest in their Companion camera line, the outdoor Companion Dome Mini LE, a 1080p integrated IR model aiming to compete with...
Covert Facial Recognition Using Axis and Amazon By NYTimes on May 20, 2019
What if you took a 33MP Axis camera covering one of the busiest parks in the US and ran Amazon Facial Recognition against it? That is what the...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact