Article on Nanopower in Nordic Semiconductor's quarterly news and technology magazine Wireless...
Power harvesting - once upon a time in the near future
With the advancements in low-power electronics and energy harvesting technologies, autonomous battery-less IoT solutions are no longer a fairytale.
As the rapid expansion of IoT deployments continues, battery waste is becoming a big problem. Alternative power solutions are needed to reduce reliance on batteries, and the negative environmental impact. The most obvious solution is battery-less devices, designed to harvest and utilize ambient energy sources to power their operations.
Photo: Dr. Arian Nowbahari, Laboratory USN, Department of Microsystems. Test bench solar power harvesting system.
A net positive contribution
Driven by the growing demand for low-power solutions, Nanopower has developed a groundbreaking innovation to help transform the world into a more sustainable and interconnected place. The nP-Zero subthreshold technology is making it possible to cut the device power budget so much that micro harvesters for the first time can deliver a net positive energy contribution to efficiently fuel wireless devices.
Together with USN (University of South-Eastern Norway), FEUP (University of Porto), and with a grant from The Research Council of Norway, Nanopower is researching energy harvesting technologies sufficient to power an IoT system integrated with Nanopower's nP-Zero IPMIC.
“After the initial screening and selection of relevant technologies, we are now performing physical tests, and the preliminary results look promising. We experimentally validated a simple and efficient energy harvester which continuously powers an IoT system by using light from indoor environment (e.g. LEDs/lamps in a typical office). In the near future, we are going to realize a fully integrated energy harvester which will allow devices with the nP-Zero IPMIC to be battery-less.”
Photos: Photo: Dr. A. Nowbahari (USN) and A. Grytbakk (Nanopower) Laboratory USN, Department of Microsystems.
Battery-less autonomous IoT devices are a shining example of how technology can evolve to harmonize with nature and create a more sustainable future. Nanopower Semiconductor and its partners will continue to play a vital role to make it a reality.