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Battery powered IoT devices crucial to 2020+ standards

Technology must transfer data to the central system in real time, otherwise it may have negative consequences. If the sensor battery power runs out, a machine failure may stop production for one day or lead to direct danger. If battery life is unbelievable and short, IoT applications will become useless, causing more interference rather than making life easier for its intended purpose. Therefore battery powered IoT devices come as a standard in up-to-date IoT installations

Wireless sensors and sensor networks are one of the elements of the Internet of Things systems and intelligent factories. Replacing the standard sensors and data collection devices with versions that communicate wirelessly gives many benefits, but also enforces a highly thought-out system design that will minimize energy consumption. This is important because these systems must work for many years without servicing. In the article we present the issues regarding the design of systems and forecasting of energy consumption in IoT systems.

Wireless communication vs Battery power

The idea of wireless sensor networks has been around for at least two decades, while the IEEE subgroup working on personal wireless networks defined the 802.15.4 standard in 2003, a year later the first versions of ZigBee appeared. Since then, many varieties of wireless communication have been developed, such as LoRa & NarrowBand-IoT and additional functions introduced, as a result of which designers now have a choice of various open or proprietary protocols. What significantly affects the way the entire project is implemented is energy consumption.

Battery powered IoT installation. Source: https://modberry.techbase.eu/

The basic elements of these systems are sensors that measure physical quantities. Some signal and data processing capabilities are also important. After all, the communication interface is important, which will allow you to pass the measured data on. Such a sensor node should wake up from time to time, make contact with its superordinate controller, transfer data and fall back to sleep again. Battery life depends on the total charge collected. Minimizing this consumption in the long run means that you need to minimize energy consumption during each work cycle. In many cases, the sensor will only work for a small fraction of the time. A measurement that lasts a few milliseconds can be triggered once per second, once per minute, or even less frequently. Therefore, the energy consumed in sleep mode may dominate the total energy consumption.

Battery powered sensors market growth

The lifetime of IoT sensors varies greatly: some last a year years, others 10, the first being the most realistic. When organizations need to deploy engineers to install new batteries in sensors and employ staff to monitor them, the benefits of technology itself are beginning to run out.

Battery powered IoT devices crucial to 2020+ standards

It is estimated that in 2020 nearly 31 billion devices will be connected to the Internet of Things. Such forecasts provide ample opportunities, especially for producers associated with the products that make up it, and they are intensified by the developing IoT technology.

Source: https://globenergia.pl/co-laczy-internet-rzeczy-i-perowskity-fotowoltaika-do-zastosowan-wewnetrznych/

Battery-ready IoT devices based on ESP32

Battery / SuperCap power support allows the processes and data to be securely executed, saved or transferred, and the operating system to be safely shutdown or reboot, if the power source has been restored. The power failure alert can also be sent to cloud service, to perform custom task, specified by user or self-learning AI algorithm.

The Moduino device is a comprehensive end-point controller for variety of sensors located throughout any installation. It fully supports temperature and humidity sensors and new ones are currently developed, e.g. accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, etc.

Battery powered Moduino ESP32
Battery powered IoT installation. Source: https://modberry.techbase.eu/

ModuinoModBerry symbiosis allows wide range of wake-up/sleep schedule customization, in order to perform best and save energy accordingly to power supply state. Arduino and MicroPython environments provide libraries to control different scenarios of data and power management.

With built-in algorithms and the possibility to program on your own, the TECHBASE’s sleep/wake addon module can wake the device using schedule/timer. Another option is wake on external trigger, e.g. change of input, etc. All the options for sleep, shutdown and wake can be configured for various scenarios to ensure constant operation of devices, safety of data and continuity of work in case of power failure in any installation.

Some time ago, we wrote about the premiere of Espressif’s ESP32-S2 chip. Check out the summary from Adafruit team on the ESP32-32 features.

Battery-ready IoT devices based on ESP32

Battery / SuperCap power support allows the processes and data to be securely executed, saved or transferred, and the operating system to be safely shutdown or reboot, if the power source has been restored. The power failure alert can also be sent to cloud service, to perform custom task, specified by user or self-learning AI algorithm.

The Moduino device is a comprehensive end-point controller for variety of sensors located throughout any installation. It fully supports temperature and humidity sensors and new ones are currently developed, e.g. accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, etc.

Battery powered Moduino ESP32
Battery powered IoT installation. Source: https://moduino.techbase.eu/

ModuinoModBerry symbiosis allows wide range of wake-up/sleep schedule customization, in order to perform best and save energy accordingly to power supply state. Arduino and MicroPython environments provide libraries to control different scenarios of data and power management.

With built-in algorithms and the possibility to program on your own, the TECHBASE’s sleep/wake addon module can wake the device using schedule/timer. Another option is wake on external trigger, e.g. change of input, etc. All the options for sleep, shutdown and wake can be configured for various scenarios to ensure constant operation of devices, safety of data and continuity of work in case of power failure in any installation.

Coming up ESP32-S2 to fill the ESP32 and ESP8266 gap

In March 2019, photos of the new Espressif‘s chip “7 2-2-A” leaked. Since then, speculation has come up. It includes BLE5, USB, 5 GHz Wi-Fi and so on. Speculation ended last month when Espressif announced the new ESP32-S2. There is still some confusion about the ESP32-S2, but the specification has become clearer.

With state-of-the-art power management and RF performance, IO capabilities and security features, ESP32-S2 is an ideal choice for a wide variety of IoT or connectivity-based applications, including smart home and wearables.

Source: https://www.espressif.com/en/news/espressif-announces-%E2%80%A8esp32-s2-secure-wi-fi-mcu
First look of ESP32-S2

CPU and Memory

  • Xtensa® single-core 32-bit LX7 microcontroller
  • 7-stage pipeline
  • Clock frequency of up to 240 MHz
  • Ultra-low-power co-processor
  • 320 kB SRAM, 128 kB ROM, 16 KB RTC memory
  • Up to 1GB of external flash and SRAM support
  • Separate instruction and data cache

Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • 1×1 transmit and receive
  • HT40 support with data rate up to 150 Mbps
  • Support for TCP/IP networking, ESP-MESH networking, TLS 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2 and other networking protocols over Wi-Fi
  • Support Time-of-Flight (TOF) measurements with normal Wi-Fi packets

IO Peripherals

  • 43 programmable GPIOs
  • 14 capacitive touch sensing IOs
  • Standard peripherals including SPI, I2C, I2S, UART, ADC/DAC and PWM
  • LCD (8-bit parallel RGB/8080/6800) interface and also support for 16/24-bit parallel
  • Camera interface supports 8 or 16-bit DVP image sensor, with clock frequency of up to 40 MHz
  • Full speed USB OTG support

Security

  • RSA-3072-based trusted application boot
  • AES256-XTS-based flash encryption to protect sensitive data at rest
  • 4096-bit eFUSE memory with 2048 bits available for application
  • Digital signature peripheral for secure storage of private keys and generation of RSA signatures

Optimal Power Consumption

ESP32-S2 supports fine-resolution power-control through a selection of clock frequency, duty cycle, Wi-Fi operating modes and individual power control of its internal components. 

  • When Wi-Fi is enabled, the chip automatically powers on or off the RF transceiver only when needed, thereby reducing the overall power consumption of the system. 
  • ULP co-processor with less than 5 uA idle mode and 24 uA at 1% duty-cycle current consumption. Improved Wi-Fi-connected and MCU-idle-mode power consumption.

Battery-ready IoT devices based on ESP32

Battery / SuperCap power support allows the processes and data to be securely executed, saved or transferred, and the operating system to be safely shutdown or reboot, if the power source has been restored. The power failure alert can also be sent to cloud service, to perform custom task, specified by user or self-learning AI algorithm.

The Moduino device is a comprehensive end-point controller for variety of sensors located throughout any installation. It fully supports temperature and humidity sensors and new ones are currently developed, e.g. accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, etc.

Battery powered Moduino ESP32
Battery powered IoT installation. Source: https://moduino.techbase.eu/

ModuinoModBerry symbiosis allows wide range of wake-up/sleep schedule customization, in order to perform best and save energy accordingly to power supply state. Arduino and MicroPython environments provide libraries to control different scenarios of data and power management.

With built-in algorithms and the possibility to program on your own, the TECHBASE’s sleep/wake addon module can wake the device using schedule/timer. Another option is wake on external trigger, e.g. change of input, etc. All the options for sleep, shutdown and wake can be configured for various scenarios to ensure constant operation of devices, safety of data and continuity of work in case of power failure in any installation.

ONiO.zero running without battery can revolutionize the IoT market

ONiO, a Norwegian specialist in the field of the Internet of Things (IoT) for the medical industry, announced ONiO.zero, a RISC-V-based microcontroller with very low power consumption, which can work completely from the energy harvested from the environment. ONiO claims that its design can take energy from the radio spectrum and operate up to 24 MHz.

“ONiO.zero is a wireless MCU with very low power consumption, which uses energy acquisition technology,” wrote the company about its creation. This means that ONiO.zero only works on ambient energy. There are no coin cells, supercaps, lithium and batteries, but still offers a lot of performance.

Battery-based solutions have an unavoidable warning about battery replacement. This leads to increased costs over the entire lifetime. ONiO.zero avoids this problem and reduces operating costs. ONiO.zero is self-powered and supports a wide range of power sources, from multi-frequency RF bands supporting GSM and ISM to optional external sources such as solar, piezoelectric, thermal and voltaic.

Source: https://www.hackster.io/news/onio-zero-offers-up-to-24mhz-of-risc-v-microcontroller-performance-on-nothing-but-harvested-energy-70285321d50d

The microcontroller itself is based on the architecture of the RISC-V instruction set of the open source type (in particular RV32EMC) and operates up to 24 MHz with a supply voltage of 1.8 V. The controller will work if necessary with lower voltages. You can get 6 MHz at 1 V and 1 MHz at 0.8 V, and the system still runs slower, but as fast as 450 mV. Includes 1 KB ROM and 2 KB RAM, as well as 8-32 KB of ultra low power flash memory, capable of 100,000 read and write cycles up to 850 mV.

ONIO.zero running without battery can revolutionize the IoT market

ONiO.zero contains a crystalline Low Energy Bluetooth transmitter (BLE) that can operate at a voltage as low as 850mV, an IEEE 802.15.4 (UWB) broadband transmitter operating in the 3.5-10 GHz band, and optional radio transmitter 433 MHz MICS for the industrial, scientific and medical band (ISM).

ONiO.zero hasn’t been released yet. For more information check the ONiO.zero product page.

Battery-ready IoT devices based on ESP32

Battery / SuperCap power support allows the processes and data to be securely executed, saved or transferred, and the operating system to be safely shutdown or reboot, if the power source has been restored. The power failure alert can also be sent to cloud service, to perform custom task, specified by user or self-learning AI algorithm.

The Moduino device is a comprehensive end-point controller for variety of sensors located throughout any installation. It fully supports temperature and humidity sensors and new ones are currently developed, e.g. accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, etc.

Battery powered Moduino ESP32
Battery powered IoT installation. Source: https://moduino.techbase.eu/

ModuinoModBerry symbiosis allows wide range of wake-up/sleep schedule customization, in order to perform best and save energy accordingly to power supply state. Arduino and MicroPython environments provide libraries to control different scenarios of data and power management.

With built-in algorithms and the possibility to program on your own, the TECHBASE’s sleep/wake addon module can wake the device using schedule/timer. Another option is wake on external trigger, e.g. change of input, etc. All the options for sleep, shutdown and wake can be configured for various scenarios to ensure constant operation of devices, safety of data and continuity of work in case of power failure in any installation.



Sleep functionality for ModBerry/Raspberry Pi devices

TECHBASE company designed new extension module for RaspberryPi-based devices, ModBerry series for better power management in changing conditions of industrial environments. With the use of GPIO the module can manage sleep mode or safe shutdown of device in terms of unexpected drop in the power network.

In last few years developers marketed wide range of ARM-based development boards, lacking in enhanced power management, especially sleep and wake up modes, commonly used in PC-grade computing. These boards are not adjusted for battery power supply, so it’s natural that sleep/wake functions should be implemented. In connection with the development of solutions based on Linux-SBC, key factor is adding sleep modes to any remote installation

With built-in algorithms and the possibility to program on your own, the TECHBASE’s sleep/wake addon module can wake the device using schedule/timer. Another option is wake on external trigger, e.g. change of input, etc. All the options for sleep, shutdown and wake can be configured for various scenarios to ensure constant operation of devices, safety of data and continuity of work in case of power failure in any installation.

The preliminary module for ModBerry devices is available on request and delivery time will be specified by Sales Dept. depending on the size of the project.

Sleep mode with additional power backup

Additional power management option for ModBerry devices is sleep functionality enhanced with SuperCap UPS energy backup device. This solution allows programming scenarios including the execution of chosen actions, in order to save data, send a notification and restart/shutdown the controller after completion.

Advanced power management solution

Most advanced configuration includes use of Moduino ESP32 device for extra logic for wake up / sleep scripts. This addon will allow the RaspberryPi-based ModBerry device to be woken up by Moduino controller via Wi-Fi/GSM/LAN networks.

Moduino-ModBerry symbiosis allows wide range of wake-up/sleep schedule customization, in order to perform best and save energy accordingly to power supply state. Arduino and MicroPython environments provide libraries to control different scenarios of data and power management.

New SuperCap options for Moduino/ModBerry

The SuperCap UPS-SC01 backup power supply is equipped with a highly available backup feature to safely bridge fluctuations, drops or failures accompanying standard 9~30VDC supply voltage and avoid interruption of output voltage in industrial and automation environments. For this purpose SuperCap UPS-SC01 utilizes two supercapacitors (so-called supercaps) as a durable, cycle-resistant and maintenance-free solution for backup energy storage and failure safety.

The UPS-SC01 model is available for purchase at price set to 90€. SuperCap family offers now preliminary and revised models: UPS-SC02 with twice the capacity at 135€ and UPS-SC04 respectively at 180€ with quadrupled capacity of the base device, which can be preordered at our new Industrial IoT Shop, here: https://iiot-shop.com/product/supercap-ups/

The new SuperCap UPS-SC01 backup power supply is equipped with a highly available backup feature to safely bridge fluctuations, drops or failures accompanying standard 9~30VDC supply voltage and avoid interruption of output voltage in industrial and automation environments. For this purpose SuperCap UPS-SC01 utilizes two supercapacitors (so-called supercaps) as a durable, cycle-resistant and maintenance-free solution for backup energy storage and failure safety.

As an addition to Industrial IoT family of TECHBASE’s products, such as ModBerry (Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 powered) industrial gateways and Moduino (ESP32 powered) end-point devices, the SuperCap UPS-SC01 serves well as an additional, highly efficient and fanless power source to allow continuous operation of connected devices in difficult conditions, such as extended industrial temperature range. Perfect solution for a multi-range applications, especially for embedded IIoT / Industry 4.0 systems, where stability and high availability is most important.

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Introduced with Moduino series, TECHBASE developed further the project of modular aluminum case for their devices. The latest version of housing allows ModBerry to expand in any dimension, supporting additional extension cards (e.g. I/Os, modems, opto-isolation, accelerometer, etc.) and DIN rail mount, that can be retracted into device itself. TECHBASE constantly improves the project to support different platforms (e.g. Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3, NanoPi, ESP32, UpBoard and probably more in the nearest future) and brings them to Industrial IoT world.

Supercapacitor power support for ModBerry

To improve the possibilities of ModBerry devices, TECHBASE added supercapacitor UPS option for ModBerry 500 configurations. Additional power supply available at emergency situations, such as power drop or loss, allows the device to log the recently acquired data and send the notifications to user regarding the occurred event. The supercap support for ModBerry ensures safe system shutdown and protects memory from fragmenting, so there is no need to use diagnostic tools afterwards.

ModBerry enhanced with OLED screen

Just like ESP32-based Moduino series, the ModBerry computers can be now equipped with OLED 0.96″ 128×64 screen via i2c extension protocol. The is small, only about 1″ diameter, but very readable due to the high contrast of an OLED display. Because the display makes its own light, no backlight is required, therefore reduces the power required to run the OLED.