The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to address some of the world’s most urgent challenges, from tackling the climate emergency to caring for the health of our population.
IoT sensors can be placed on, in or near people, things or the environment to gather information from billions, even trillions, of sensors.
However, to really benefit society, scientific and technological innovations are needed in the medium and long term to address the technology gap in reliably powering these trillions of IoT devices. The EnABLES European Research Infrastructure project has already developed a well-established scientific and technological leadership position in this area, and where Tyndall is the coordinator.
The aim of the EnABLES European research ecosystem is to make batteries outlive the IoT devices they power leveraging energy harvesting, storage and micro-power management technologies and optimising their system integration into real life applications. This is achieved by giving stakeholders access to laboratories and expertise in leading research institutes across Europe to conduct ‘power IoT’ feasibility studies, fostering early collaborations and follow on projects.
At present, a typical battery life for a wireless edge device sensor is around two years or less. With most devices having an operational life of more than ten years, this leads to multiple battery replacements, meaning device downtime and maintenance trade-offs as well as major economic and environmental issues related to the manufacture and disposal of hundreds of millions of batteries every single day. In addition, it has meant that there are many untapped IoT applications in areas such as medical technologies, implantables and installations in harsh environments due to the criticality of having a reliable power source throughout the device lifetime.
EnABLES and partners across the EU are developing innovative ‘power IoT’ solutions by finding ways to harvest tiny ambient energies such as light, heat and vibration and converting them to electricity whilst being more efficient and clever in minimising the energy consumption of the sensors.
In order to enhance the EU’s strategic advantage in this critical area and build on the momentum already created by EnABLES, a longer term, sustainable power IoT infrastructure needs to be implemented.
Download the Paper to learn more about this IoT leadership opportunity for Europe, and the EnABLES IoT innovations and recommendations that will help to create a sustainable green future.