Power calculator helps IoT developers predict battery life, says Premier Farnell

Premier Farnell has created an IoT Power Calculator that helps developers of IoT (Internet of Things) projects to understand the expected battery life of IoT devices. The IoT Power Calculator also allows them to experiment with different components and software algorithms to determine their impact on battery life, says the distributor.

Battery power is in increasing demand in IoT applications incorporating sensor systems that collect data and pass the information to the cloud. Unlike many larger connected systems, these relatively small devices often do not have access to mains power. They need to be powered by using either batteries or energy harvesting.

Although an increasing number of applications can now be developed at the ultra-low power levels required for energy harvesting, many more are not suitable for this approach, points out Premier Farnell, and in such cases batteries are needed to power the system. Batteries need changing at some point, and with the cost of replacing batteries often higher than the cost of the IoT device itself, calculating battery lifetime is critical.

The IoT Power Calculator is easy to use and very quick to produce a result, says Premier Farnell. Users enter basic parameters about the hardware – including different types of microcontroller and batteries – and the software (how frequently the software wakes, and how many cycles the data capture/processing and communications operations require). The IoT Power Calculator uses these inputs to work out the power consumption and quickly estimate battery life for an IoT application. Before, this would have been difficult and time-consuming, involving either the creation of a spreadsheet or manual calculations of battery life, says Premier Farnell.

The calculator is available from Premier Farnell’s “Internet of Things Hub”, a one-stop web portal which includes news, views, articles and tools relating to IoT applications, including an article explaining the calculator and factors that impact battery life in IoT applications.

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