Lithium batteries enabling wireless IoT

 In Commentary, News

While Internet of Things(IoT) is said to be the greatest innovation since the World Wide Web, it is also undisputable that it faces many problems. One of these is how smaller devices would function for hours on end without a wire to connect it to a power source. IoT devices would most likely consume an enormous amount of energy in small time periods, and so far the options to solve this problem are limited. Batteries last too little, while other solutions would require a wire connection.

Now, a claim has been made that lithium based batteries could allow for maintenance free operation for up to 40 years. This would be a remarkable change from zinc batteries (including alkaline), that have a smaller working time and can be found in most house hold products, e.g. remotes and electric toothbrushes.

Tadiran Batteries, who are at the forefront of the lithium battery development, say the aforementioned zinc batteries are inadequate. They have low voltage, a limited temperature range and a high self-discharge rate. If all three problems were improved upon, the resulting batteries would be ideal for not only IoT use, but the whole electronics industry in general. For example, in car manufacturing, the temperature on automotive windshields can hit 113°C. In such case, regular batteries would simply melt and/or stop working.

Lithium’s properties allow the size and weight to decrease, while the energy supply remains or even increases. This is due to lithium being the metal with the highest energy density, its natural lightness and specific energy. The main reason it is allegedly able to function for over 40 years is how the lithium model would only discharge at a rate of 0.7% per year, which is infinitely more than the usual 3% per year.

So far, the batteries in question have been tested in medicine and military usage. As they are in quite the early stage so far, they will certainly develop further. For now, however, they are an exciting power solution for IoT that certainly looks promising.

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