Internet of Things asset tracking sensors are a critical component of many industries. One of the major costs of asset tracking is powering all those remote sensors. Batteries, of which there may be many depending on the application, require replacement or recharging in the field.
This requires time, personnel, and money. Besides the tedium and operational costs, this approach is detrimental to the environment.
According to low-power sensing and tracking device maker SODAQ, the first step in solving this is to create efficient, low-power devices. With lower power requirements, these devices can derive operating voltage from a solar panel that’s harvesting energy from the sun or indoor lights.
To build an effective solar-powered tracker, solar panels need to generate a certain level of power in order to store energy. Selecting the right size solar panel and matching it with a configurable power management integrated circuit (PMIC) is necessary for harvesting enough energy for the device to function.
To solve this equation, SODAQ is pairing its expertise in low power asset tracking with e-peas’ energy harvesting knowledge. The result of this partnership is TRACK Solar; a small, solar-powered tracker designed for outdoor asset tracking.
TRACK Solar employs an e-peas AEM10941 PMIC module and can operate on a 6.9 cm x 6.9 cm monocrystalline solar panel. Stored in a 2400mAh lithium-ion battery, solar energy enables the tracker to operate for up to a month without sunlight.
The AEM10941 module allows the TRACK SOLAR to harvest solar energy at very low voltages, resulting in a smaller form factor. Additionally, the e-peas chip helps reduce the depth-of-discharge for the battery, leading to longer battery life and overall product longevity. TRACK Solar can last for about five years in the field, but is likely to last longer depending on environmental conditions.
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