Cell powers IoT sensors without batteries
BRIDG, an industry-led public-private partnership for advanced technologies and manufacturing processes, announces a collaboration with Face International to develop and integrate a patented energy-harvesting technology.
Face International’s Evercell power cell is capable of powering wireless IoT sensors without batteries. The Evercell technology harvests thermal energy in any environment where the ambient temperature is above absolute zero, explains BRIDG, generating the microwatts of electrical power needed to run wireless IoT sensors without the need for batteries. Evercell power cells are inexpensive to produce, consume no fuel, have no moving parts, and contain no toxic materials.
The technology company has more than 60 patents, to address a technology barrier that experts say has been the primary problem limiting the growth of the IoT, namely the dependence on billions of batteries to power the sensors critical to its operation. As part of the collaboration to commercialise the Evercell technology, BRIDG and Face intend to undertake technology validation for product integration development and prototype manufacturing of Evercell power cells at its NeoCity campus in central Florida, with the goal of achieving mass production by 2019, based on customer-driven demand.
“In driving the continued expansion of the IoT, the Evercell technology has the potential to be to batteries what the light bulb was to candles and oil lamps,” observed Dan Holladay, BRIDG’s director of strategic partnerships. “The cost, inconvenience, and inaccessibility associated with battery replacement make them impractical as a power source for many of the IoT sensor applications. The promise of the Evercell technology could address an unmet annual demand for tens of billions of IoT devices relying on batteries that otherwise could not be deployed.”
Producing Evercell power cells in the volume required to respond to this demand is a major challenge that BRIDG is uniquely positioned to help solve. “BRIDG will be able to assist Face with its capabilities to provide continued development and assist in creating solutions to overcome the manufacturing demand for Evercell,” Holladay explained. “This could include co-ordinating efforts to optimise the Evercell technology into IoT devices and facilitating necessary patent licensing to satisfy IoT demand.”
BRIDG operates a 109,000-square-foot manufacturing facility focused on semiconductor-based processes for smart sensors, photonic technologies, and next-generation integrated devices in NeoCity, technology district in Osceola County, Florida.
Other major BRIDG partners include imec, Harris Corporation, Siemens, Aurora Semiconductor, Photon-X, University of Florida, University of South Florida, and Florida Institute of Technology.