Micro-battery stores low-power ambient harvested energy
The Infinite Power Solutions' new module provides continual power to wireless sensor nodes and other micro-systems when used with energy harvesting.
Infinite Power Solutions Inc. (IPS), which develops and commercializes solid-state, rechargeable, thin-film micro-energy storage devices, demonstrate its micro power module (MPM) solution for providing continual power to micro-systems, such as embedded wireless sensors, during the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) at San Jose, CA, at its booth and at the Texas Instruments Pavilion booth. Unlike other rechargeable battery solutions, IPS says that, when combined with ambient energy harvesting, the module will provide maintenance-free continuous power to wireless sensor nodes and other micro-electronics for approximately 10-20 years. See more from Embedded Systems Conference: Controllers, wireless, boards ease system integration .
Inl reality. This micro-power solution is a safe, reusable and clean energy source that delivers a lifetime of power to micro-electronic systems without the prohibitive cost of battery maintenance. This is truly unique in the world of micro-batteries.”
The MPMs feature two functional elements– near loss-less energy storage and highly efficient energy management electronics—all in a tiny footprint only a few millimeters thick. For the energy storage element, IPS leverages its Thinergy Micro-Energy Cell (MEC) products to provide unmatched battery performance, cycle life and service lifetime. IPS’ patent-pending Passive Power Management Unit (PPMU) serves as the energy management element. It provides a simplified electronic interface between the ambient energy harvester and the Thinergy MECs.
According to Bradow, the PPMU is unique in that it has no front-end regulation and charges the MEC “passively” when not in over-charge condition, consuming less than 3 nA of quiescent current. It also provides over-voltage and under-voltage protection of the cell, greatly simplifying the design-in process. For perpetual power, the system designer only needs to provide a two-wire input from an energy-harvesting source, such as a solar cell, piezo element, thermal-electric generator, or simple RF harvesting circuit. Multiple energy sources (ac or dc) may be used simultaneously to maximize charge within energy-rich ambient environments. The output of the PPMU provides regulated (2.1 V– 3.6 V) and unregulated output voltage (approximately 4 V) for direct connection to any integrated circuits. The output current is 30 mA or more, depending on the number of MECs used, company says.
Together, the products efficiently store energy captured from ambient energy harvesting systems producing less than150 mW, including ultra-low power and highly variable energy that is difficult to capture. "Even with uncontrolled charging sequences from variable energy harvesters like piezo elements, these MPMs provide unparalleled charge efficiency and accommodate hundreds of thousands of partial charge/discharge cycles, which is approximately 100 times more cycles than what typical rechargeable batteries offer today," said Bradow.
MPMs will be available for purchase by qualified customers starting May 2009. Previously, IPS announced that it demonstrated what it called a major breakthrough by achieving in excess of 3.0 mAh of discharge capacity (exceeding 12 mWh, or approximately 43 Joules of energy) within a single cell of its micro-energy storage technology. IPS recently began shipping its Thinergy thin-film MECs to early-access customers from its new Littleton, CO-based facility, which the company says is the world’s first, and only, volume manufacturing facility for solid-state thin-film batteries.
Infinite Power Solutions Inc. (IPS)
Also read: Vibration energy harvesting for wireless condition monitoring and
– Edited by Mark T. Hoske , editor in chief
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