Renesas RE01B Bluetooth 5.0 LE MCU harvests energy for battery maintenance-free IoT devices

EB-RE01B Bluetooth-5.0-Energy Harvesting Board

Nobody likes to change or recharge batteries in their IoT nodes, so any new development related to energy harvesting or batteryless devices is welcomed. Renesas RE01B is a new Bluetooth 5.0 Low Energy (BLE) Arm Cortex-M0+ MCU that consumes at little as 35 µA/MHz during operation and 600 nA during standby making it suitable for battery maintenance-free IoT devices, or even batteryless IoT devices thanks to its energy harvesting controller. Renesas RE01B microcontroller’s features and specifications: CPU – Arm Cortex-M0+ core up to 64MHz GPU – 2D graphics accelerator Memory – 256KB SRAM Storage – 1.5MB flash Connectivity – 2.4 GHz radio with Bluetooth 5.0 Low Energy; up to 400m range (Long Range) and 2 Mbps data rate I/Os 8x PWM outputs 7x 14-bit A/D converters (ADC, Analog inputs) SCI (UART), I2C, SPI Timers 1x 32-bit Timer, 3x 16-bit Timer, 2x 8-bit Timer 2x Watchdog Timer, 1-second event timer, stopwatch Oscillators – Low-speed 32.768kHz, middle-speed 2MHz, high-speed 64 MHz Security […]

Energy Harvesting Makes Energy Autonomous NB-IoT V2 Platform Maintenance Free

Energy Autonomous NB-IoT V2

LPWAN wireless protocols like LoRaWAN, Sigfox, and NB-IoT enable long-range transfers of small amounts of data at very low power for a battery life of up to 10 years. But there’s still a need to replace the battery from time to time increasing maintenance costs. HiSilicon and Nowi have partnered to design and launch the Energy Autonomous NB-IoT V2 Platform, a sensor hub that can transmit via NB-IoT without the need to change or recharge batteries manually through its energy harvesting capabilities. Energy Autonomous NB-IoT V2 Platform key features and specifications: LPWAN module – Quectel BC95 module based on HiSilicon Hi2115 NB-IoT chip Max transmissions per day Up to 3 transmissions per day in indoor conditions Up to 6 transmissions per day in outdoor conditions Power Management Nowi NH2 (MH2D02564) energy harvesting power management IC Can operate with a range of photovoltaic (multiple) cells Dimensions – 5.5 x 3.5cm The second generation Energy Autonomous NB-IoT board is said to have […] offers a RISC-V Microcontroller that runs without battery

Energy harvesting has been an exciting area people have tried to venture into mostly because of the possible applications that can arise from it. Newly invented energy-harvesting technologies accompanying low-power computing systems have pushed the boundaries of where embedded systems can be deployed. The demand for an increase in connected applications which require an underlying embedded system, and as we know, all electronic devices require a power source of some sort. This power source, batteries in most cases, comes with an accompanying buck regulator of some sort that will tend to increase the BOM. Aside from the BOM rise from the usage of batteries, there is also the shelf life and environmental aspects. The Norwegian specialist ONiO has introduced the to address those issues. Having no battery means fewer components and a smaller design, which can easily be integrated into a wide range of solutions – be it fabrics, jewelry, watches, wearable medical devices, livestock or building sensors. More […]

JBL Reflect Eternal are Self-Charging, Solar-Powered Headphones (Crowdfunding)

JBL REFLECT Eternal Self-Charging Headphones A simple solution to the constant problem of having to charge wireless earbuds is to make it so they never need a charge, at all. That means do not use an AC adapter or USB charger, and instead, use solar power. The JBL REFLECT Eternal headphones are solar-powered and never need charging. JBL an Iconic Brand The iconic audio company has been moving inexorably into the 21st century with Bluetooth enabled wireless speakers, headphones and other up-to-date tech-enabled audio equipment. How Solar is Used to Power the JBL REFLECT Eternal headphones The headphones can turn artificial and natural light into energy through the Exeger Powerfoyle process. The company states “more light, more playtime” which is true in its basic aspects. Self-Charging Issue The self-charging portion of the process of charging for the JBL REFLECT Eternal can be slow, and sometimes not power up the headphones fast enough to keep playing music continuously. Resolution of the […]

Self-powered Swallowable Thermometer Measures Internal Body Temperature

Swallowable Thermometer

Having just written about a thermometer board for home automation,  I’ll stay on the temperature measurement topic, as I’ve found another thermometer that targets the medical field instead. Body temperature measurement at my local hospital is done under the armpit, which does the job in most cases, but more accurate temperature measurement of “deep body temperature” is normally achieved through rectal temperature measurement which is not as practical and comfortable for most people. Daily measurements of deep body temperature can apparently allow physicians to better understand “biological clocks”. In practical terms, it means doctors would be able to know ovulation cycles, measure the fatigue degrees of athletes, and even prevent heat strokes and hypothermia. Seeing the impractically in the conventional method, Nakamura Lab at Tohoku University developed a “swallowable thermometer” for this purpose. The swallowable sensor measures just 9.16mm in diameter, is allegedly perfectly safe to the human body, and is powered in the stomach using the same principle as […]

Evercell Thermal Energy Harvester to Power Battery-less IoT Wireless Sensors

In order to be successful the Internet of Things needs to be extremely inexpensive per node, and the problem is that most remote sensors are non powered by batteries, which either needs to be replaced or recharged, which involve maintenance costs. One ideal solution is battery-less IoT sensor nodes, that do not need any battery, and instead rely on energy harvesting. The idea is easier said that done, especially if you intend to do it cheaply. While there have been solutions provided over the years for example using vibration energy harvesting or water flow, battery-less devices are still not that common, but companies still bring new energy harvesting devices to market. One of those is Face International’s Evercell thermal energy harvester that leverages the temperature difference within a material to generate electricity, as long as ambient temperature is above absolute zero. The company plans to manufacture various models of their harvester with different capacities, size, and thickness, for example (expected […]

Cracking Open a Self-Powered Shower Temperature Display

A month ago, I wrote about a $10 self-powered thermometer display that connects to your shower header and can display the water temperature near real-time to help with mixing hot and cold water tap to achieve the perfect temperature. It’s not really useful where I live, but I was hoping somebody would buy one, and crack it open to find out how it works. It turns out MickMake has done just that even bringing an oscilloscope in the shower… If you just want to use the thing, the good news is that it appears to work well, and temperature is displayed within less than one second after turning the tap, and goes up as hot/warm water goes through it. Now for the teardown… It does not seem that easy to open it, but he managed, and found a 470 uF capacitor, LS164 8-bit shift register for the LCD display, ABS6 bridge rectifier, and another chip that’s blank but should be […]

TDK CeraCharge Solid State Battery-in-a-Chip is Designed for IoT & Wearables

We’ve recently seen solid state batteries are prone to dislodge current Lithium Ion battery technology as they are safer, support higher energy density, and faster charging. Such batteries are expected to be seen in car in the first part of the next decade, in smartphones starting possibly in 2019, but TDK has just announced their own CeraCharge rechargeable solid state SMD battery with mass production scheduled to start in April 2018. TDK CeraCharge battery-in-a-chip will come in compact EIA 1812 package (4.5 x 3.2 x 1.1 mm), offer a capacity of 100 µAh at a rated voltage of 1.4 V, and can be recharged up to 1000 times. Potential applications include IoT devices, real-time clocks, Bluetooth beacons, and systems for energy harvesting. The battery – which will look very similar to an SMD capacitor – does not include liquid electrolyte, and instead uses a solid ceramic element as electrolyte which rules out any risk of fire, explosion, or leakage. The solution works in a wide temperature range […]