Solar cell eliminates battery in IoT multi-sensor

April 11, 2019 //By Rich Pell
Solar cell eliminates battery in IoT multi-sensor
ON Semiconductor (Phoenix, AZ) has introduced a multi-sensor platform powered entirely using solar energy.

The RSL10 Solar Cell Multi-Sensor Platform supports the development of IoT sensors using continuous solar energy harvesting to gather and communicate data through Bluetooth Low Energy, without the need for batteries or other forms of non-renewable energy. The combination of ultra-low-power wireless communications, small form-factor solar cell, and low duty cycle sensing applications, says the company, makes it possible to develop and deploy totally maintenance-free IoT sensor nodes.

Expected applications include smart home and building automation such as HVAC control, window/door sensors, and air quality monitoring. Asset tracking including package open/close detection, shock monitoring, and temperature and humidity data logging, are also possible applications.

"To support the growth of IoT, manufacturers are actively investigating alternative sources of energy to power their designs, helping to reduce environmental impact and lower manufacturing and maintenance costs," says Wiren Perera, who heads IoT at ON Semiconductor. "With this solution, established on the RSL10 Bluetooth Low Energy radio, we are proving that a battery-free and maintenance-free approach to smart sensor development is not only possible but can help manufacturers improve their designs."

The RSL10 Solar Cell Multi-Sensor Platform is enabled by the RSL10 SIP, a complete System-in-Package (SiP) solution featuring the RSL10 radio, integrated antenna, and all passive components. The platform combines the RSL10 SIP with a solar cell and a host of low-power sensors from Bosch Sensortec, including the BME280 all-in-one environmental sensor (pressure, temperature, humidity) and the BMA400 ultra-low-power 3-axis accelerometer.

The platform is supplied with all design files (Gerber, schematic and BoM) and customizable source code as part of a CMSIS software package.

ON Semiconductor

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