'Fit and forget' miniature battery suits IoT sensors
A miniaturised solid state battery technology for IoT devices, the Stereax M250 has been introduced by Ilika, a spin-out from the School of Chemistry at the University of Southampton. Addressing the key challenge of always-on, self-charging and efficient energy, Ilika’s Stereax battery family will enable smaller, higher energy-dense batteries to accelerate IoT products to market.
As IoT devices move from concept to reality, providing small, energy efficient solutions for home automation, transportation and healthcare is now one of the key challenges. Ilika is empowering wider adoption of IoT devices through a ‘fit and forget’ design that enables IoT sensors to be fitted without further maintenance, including changing batteries.
“One of the key challenges for IoT devices is enabling long life energy-efficient power sources. The combination of energy harvesting and battery technology has been urgently needed to enable small, energy efficient solutions that can easily be installed across a wide range of locations with minimum maintenance,” commented Franco Gonzalez, Industry Analyst, IDTechEx.
Solid state batteries are key to IoT since they can be used in conjunction with all the current energy harvesting technologies whilst being able to match the energy needs for IoT devices. Many IoT devices need power in short bursts to collect and transmit data, whilst being able to support a wide range of environment temperatures. Relative to standard lithium ion batteries, solid state batteries have lower leakage currents (10 times smaller) and longer life spans of up to 10 years (four times longer). They can also be integrated with other electronic components, thus keeping the size of the end device to a minimum.
“Many IoT devices will be deployed in places that are difficult to service on a regular basis so self-sufficiency is critical,” said Charlene Marini, vice president, segment marketing, ARM. “Ilika’s Stereax batteries can help as the technology will enable ‘leave for life’ IoT devices capable of producing data over extended periods with minimal maintenance. This is where the IoT starts to shed the power tether that could restrain its spread into new and exciting off-grid applications.”
Ilika has taken the solid state battery concept to the next level of evolution with its expertise in material development. Ilika Stereax batteries use patented materials and processes enabling superior energy density per battery footprint, up to 40% improvement on current solid state solutions, and increased temperature range support to over +100°C, 30°C higher than existing solid state products. Ilika’s batteries do not contain any free lithium which makes them more moisture resistant.
Graeme Purdy, CEO, Ilika, added: “Building on our R&D heritage in materials science, Ilika has been developing a range of materials that have enabled us to tailor battery designs that meet the specific needs of IoT. For IoT devices to gain wide adoption they need to be able to be fitted then forgotten about, Ilika Stereax battery technology is a key to turning this into a reality.”