At the heart of every IoT ecosystem is power. Choosing the right battery solution for an IoT device can be a tricky task for any IoT entrepreneur who has to work with very complex ecosystems. Choosing a powering solution for your IoT project must go beyond looking at meeting criteria for technical performance. It must also support the business case for your specific IoT application, particularly in terms of reliability and long life. Here are our 5 key tips to ensure that the selected power source meets the technical and financial requirements over the entire life of your IoT project.
Power supply should be regarded as an integral element of a complete IoT ecosystem rather than an afterthought. Power availability is indeed a critical element of the IoT infrastructure: the architecture and its end-to-end operation, the collection of information, the processing of the data, the periodicity of these treatments, the visual, sound or other returns have an impact on the energy consumption. You therefore have to think about consumption from the conception of your project as an overall end-to-end system approach.
The first step when selecting an energy source for your IoT project is to decide if you are going to use a primary battery or a rechargeable battery operating in conjunction with some method of recharging. This choice is governed by the energy requirements of the device and its application. But considering power and energy requirements needs alone is not sufficient to ensure the selection of the ideal battery, in terms of electrochemistry, design, size and configuration.
Several key parameters are influencing the battery lifetime: its electrochemistry, environmental factors such as temperature and humidity conditions, the discharge profile such as background current, pulse level, duration and frequency, and the cut-off voltage of the application.
The proven reliability of your battery, which is highly dependent on both the design and construction of its component cells and the quality of the production process, becomes a vital consideration when taking these parameters into consideration.
Here are the key factors influencing battery selection:
The IoT Solution Optimizer developed by Deutsche Telekom brings together the hardware, application and network feature elements necessary to assess IoT solution designs, allowing you to test your solution with real life parameters to ensure that the specified hardware and connectivity will function correctly under field conditions.
The tool pays particular attention to identifying batteries that can deliver the required performance, sometimes in harsh operating conditions, over a long service life.
Using such a tool will allow you to shorten the time associated with some phases of the project development programs such as the technologies evaluation and the Proof Of Concept (POC), thus reducing the time to market.
The critical elements in creating a successful business case are detailed segmentation and prioritization at the early project stages. There must be a good level of certainty that your IoT project will deliver a cost effective solution to a real problem.
You should therefore consider mapping your IoT solution along two main factors: the payback period and the benefits for the end-user. This approach will help you assign the right resources for your project while defining a business model and a business plan with the right price positioning. Segmentation and positioning will also help you define the expected lifetime of your solution, which will help determine the selection of the appropriate power source.
Below is an example of how Capgemini segmented use case by business value and the payback period to help organizations choose optimal use cases. The high potential use cases identified combine higher benefits with a shorter payback time.
When it comes to total cost of ownership (TCO), the cheapest power solution might not be the most interesting one for your IoT project in the long run. Operating costs (OPEX) and return on investment (ROI) can be significantly influenced by battery performance as maintenance and replacement of failing batteries can be expensive, notwithstanding the cost (and risks!) of a smart device failure. A zero-maintenance, zero-replacement field-capable power source will both optimize OPEX and secure ROI.
Selecting a high-quality battery, with lifetime calculated by product experts to match the lifetime of the IoT devices, can dramatically reduce the lifetime cost.
Finding the right battery for a new application can be a major challenge. Saft can support you from development to delivery and beyond by providing a wide range of reliable solutions to fit your project, real lifetime calculation of the duration of our batteries and recommend the right solution to optimize your ROI based on the parameters of your use case.
Find out more about How to energize successfully your IoT project in our white paper. Or get in touch with one of our experts.