The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to the growing number of interconnected devices that monitor everything from heart rates to room temperatures or building occupants. New applications are created every day to measure and report all types of data via wireless local networks which in turn may connect via gateways directly to the Internet. If the pundits are correct, we will soon have the ability to monitor the health and operating status of every appliance in our homes, turn off all the lights, and learn the exact location of our pets, all with a few finger swipes on our smart phones. Ubiquitous wireless monitoring will enable observation and control of our surroundings anytime, anywhere.
On a more utilitarian note, the Internet of Things has also manifested itself in
industrial settings in the form of wireless sensors arrayed in vast mesh networks.
Such wireless sensor networks are used in factories, industrial sites and on vehicles and machinery around the world to monitor critical parameters and improve safety, reliability and timely maintenance. Regardless of their intended use, such wireless devices all share a common problem: how do they get their power?
Clearly, there are many alternatives to consider. Wireless monitors should be small
and unobtrusive, and they should require minimal maintenance. In the IoT world of
tomorrow, experts suggest that many of these devices will be self-powered via optimized energy harvesters capable of providing an endless source of power. While such a prospect sounds ideal, and considerable progress has been made to improve the practicality of energy harvesting, solutions today often fall short in terms of size and performance, and there will always be cases where power is needed and no harvestable energy is available. Fortunately, battery technologies exist which are optimized for long lifetime, low average power applications such as those on the IoT spectrum.
Lithium Thionyl Chloride: The Ideal Wireless Sensor Energy Source
IoT applications tend to