Increased Runtime of Space-Constrained IoT Devices

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Inclusion of solar energy harvesting technology reduces solution size by at least 50 per cent while also improving efficiency

Designers often have to tradeoff between small size and long runtime for wearable and IoT applications, posing a challenge for space-constrained designs.

Reducing this problem is the MAX20361 single/multi-cell solar harvester with maximum power point tracking (MPPT) capability. The small solar harvesting solution is ideal for wearables and other IoT applications that require increased runtime.

By enabling solar charging in highly space-constrained products, the MAX20361 extends device runtime with a supplemental power source, reducing solution size by at least half while boosting the efficiency of harvested energy by up to 5 per cent. It is also coupled with an adaptive MPPT approach, which improves the overall system-level efficiency even further for better real-time performance.

“This device offers exciting possibilities for a new supplemental power source to continually charge the battery of a device,” said Frank Dowling, director of the Industrial and Healthcare Business Unit at Maxim Integrated. “For example, if you can harvest just 30mW of solar power per day on a 300mAHr battery system which typically runs for three weeks, you can, as a result, extend that runtime by over 50 per cent.”

“Innovation continues to drive adoption of consumer wearables with global revenue estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15 per cent in the next four years,” said James Hayward, principal analyst at IDTechEx Research. “For device manufacturers, longer battery life and smaller form factor remain key product features toward market differentiation and user satisfaction.”

The MAX20361 and the MAX20361EVKIT# evaluation kit are available at Maxim Integrated’s website and authorised distributors.


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