Posted by Denis Pasero on 11th July 2016
As IoT devices become utilised across a wider range of locations from smart homes, industrial settings, offices and farming locations, the ability to fit the device and then not to have to worry about maintenance and battery changing becomes more important. Ilika’s Stereax solid state battery technology allows micro batteries to be used in conjunction with energy harvesting technologies to enable self-sustaining perpetual beacons to become a reality.
What is a perpetual beacon?
A perpetual beacon is a transmitting device that is self-sufficient for power and requires no external wired power source. The battery technology also does not need replacing and will last the lifetime of the other components. Perpetual beacons use energy harvesting technologies such as vibration, thermal, solar to power the beacon when the energy source is available and uses the Stereax battery technology when the energy source has been removed.
For example a sensor that is connected to a photovoltaic (PV) panel will use the power from that panel during daylight hours, then it will switch across to using the Stereax battery for power during the dark hours. The beacon will then trickle recharge the battery once the light has been reinstalled.
This ability to be perpetual offers a wide range of opportunities above and beyond the maintenance benefits. It also enables beacons to be put in difficult to reach places; in locations that may not be able to be reached once a building or factory has been built; or in physically remote locations that have no power supply such as found in farming locations.
Ilika have built a prototype demonstrator to show a perpetual beacon in action using the Stereax M250 battery technology. I show how the beacon has been constructed, the key components and how it interacts with a custom mobile app at the link below.