Solar powered IoT – connected world without batteries?
Seeing how all predictions agree that in the next couple of years the number of connected devices out there will soar, the question becomes what will happen with all those billions of discarded batteries that those devices will use?
That is where a Dutch startup Tryst Energy enters the stage.
They have created Light Energy, an innovative product that might replace the use of batteries in IoT devices by powering IoT-devices with solar energy.
The unique feature of Light Energy is that even though it runs on solar, it doesn’t need direct sunlight – only 200 lux is enough to keep the device going. That means that IoT devices will be able to function even in poorly lit spaces – such as under your desk. Light Energy produces enough power to keep IoT-products going, including radio frequency like Bluetooth LE or LoRaWAN.
How does this thing actually work?
The module combines custom-made energy harvesting circuit and a tiny solar panel (35×20 mm) which can power thousands of IoT-applications. Needing only four hours of 200 lux light to operate for 24 hours makes Light Energy an extremely viable replacement for disposable batteries.
Energy Light is designed to be incorporated into all kinds of projects and the people of Tryst Energy hope it will catch on. The module can generate a maximum power of 25mA and can store the energy in a supercap, which is enough to replace battery all together.
So where can I get Light Energy?
Currently Tryst Energy has three versions of Light Energy available through their Kickstarter campaign: environment sensors, movement sensors and an open-ended one for devs to play around with.
One thing is certain – we need a better way to power sensor-filled IoT future, and going green seems to be the way.