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Energy Harvesting, Blazing a Trail to the Future of Power Sources for Maintenance-Free IoT Devices

What is Energy Harvesting ?

Energy harvesting is a technology for collecting (harvesting) the tiny amounts of energy from various sources in our environment and converting them into electricity using sensors and modules. Energy sources used for Energy harvesting include sunlight, indoor light, vibration, and temperature differences. In light of global efforts to achieve carbon neutrality, the energy sector is focusing not just on developing renewable energy sources (renewable energy), including solar power and wind power, but on Energy harvesting technologies capable of maximizing the efficiency of such renewable energy sources.

Maximizing efficiency in the use of energy from energy harvesting

The power that can be generated from energy harvesting is minute, limiting its applications. In recent years, however, IoT devices and electronic equipment have become extremely power efficient. Now, energy harvesting technologies are increasingly becoming suitable for powering IoT devices in various industrial fields, as well as in the medical and nursing care, agricultural, and disaster prevention fields. Energy harvesting technologies are suitable of use in locations where extending power cables or other wiring may be difficult or impossible or where primary batteries would be costly. The self-sustaining power technology eliminates the need to replace these devices and allows the semi-permanent deployment of IoT devices, even in such locations. Making the most of such energy requires a power supply system capable of storing minute amounts of power.

Realizing maintenance-free IoT devices via EnerCera

The EnerCera battery is an ultra-thin and ultra-small Li-ion rechargeable battery. A semi-solid-state battery developed using NGK’s original crystal oriented ceramic plate as electrodes, EnerCera achieves features that were difficult to incorporate together in existing Li-ion rechargeable batteries, such as high capacity, high output, high heat resistance, and long lifetime.

An ideal power source for energy harvesting

Due to its low internal resistance, EnerCera batteries can store incredibly small amounts of electricity and output large amounts of power when required, making them the ideal power source for energy harvesting. Energy harvesting technologies can be combined with EnerCera batteries to create power supply systems for maintenance-free IoT devices that rely only on natural energy sources and which can be used repeatedly.

“EnerCera battery” Series
EnerCera is a battery for IoT to realize “maintenance-free”.

The EnerCera solution

Can be recharged and used even when over-discharged

  • Less susceptible to performance degradation, even in the case of self-discharge voltage drop
  • Maintains same performance prior to over-discharge when recharged again

Capable of storing tiny amounts of electrical power

  • Low resistance and low self-discharge
  • Ideal for environmental power generation applications, including solar cells and wireless power supply
  • Reduces the time required for recharging and battery replacement

Long lifetime, resistant to floating aging

  • Less deterioration due to floating
  • Optimal power source solution for applications that require constant high voltage in the fully charged state, such as backup and environmental power generation systems

Examples of applications

Below are some example applications powered by EnerCera.
Introducing the Slim Position Tracker Powered by Solar Energy
Battery Maintenance Free System Revolutionizes Air Quality Monitoring
Realizes maintenance-free predictive equipment failure detection sensor
Realization of smart home appliances that do not require battery replacement

News Release

Inolux Japan, ENJI, Cold storage Japan, and NGK start Development of Temperature and Humidity Control Service Using Sensor Tags for Transporting Wine

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