Optimizing IoT power consumption
One of the greatest barriers to IoT technology is the implementation of sustainable, functional deployment. The multifunctionality of the Internet of Things (IoT) comes at a cost in terms of power. While traditional battery power is the most obvious solution for remote applications, it’s not always economical.
First, battery capacity may be insufficient for emerging IoT devices with burgeoning and networking processing capabilities. In addition, there is concern about the cost of new batteries and the man-hours required to service the devices.
Second, even rechargeable batteries, which eventually need to be replaced, have a negative impact on the environment. As businesses around the world become more environmentally conscious, this has become a serious consideration. Finally, access to continuous power from the power grid is not always possible. Whether it’s the nature of the deployment, or the cost of connecting devices to a grid, accessing constant power is a recurring challenge for many IoT systems.
There are two primary ways to avoid common IoT power consumption issues. Energy-harvesting techniques, which capture energy from a device’s surrounding environment, have come a long way in the past few years and could be a good option for some deployments. There are a variety of techniques for energy harvesting. It is also possible to combine several methods of energy reduction and harvesting to increase IoT device power efficiency. These techniques include the following:
- Piezoelectric materials capture power from mechanical stress, such as swiping a keycard over a key reader.
- Thermoelectric materials, which rely on a temperature differential to create electrical potential.
- Solar energy, which is an option for IoT devices exposed to sunlight.
- Wind energy, which can be used in a range of applications including agricultural monitoring.
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