IoT Information – World’s first solar-powered mobile IoT asset tracker features a batteryless model that may function perpetually on harvested solar vitality alone
By completely eliminating the need to change batteries, the tracker should also eliminate the greatest cost factor Big scale IoT tracking Installations and supports so high volume, low cost cellular IoT tracking Applications.
Nordic Semiconductor announces today that Dutch engineering and design specialist SODAQ is using a Nordic Multi-Mode NB-IoT / LTE-M nRF9160 System-in-Package (SiP) in the world’s first solar powered IoT asset tracker for continuous operation .
The miniaturized 80 x 80 x 11.5 mm SODAQ TRACK SOLAR The device is part of the SODAQ TRACK product tracking series (which includes two other battery-operated variants for theft detection and for parcel tracking and monitoring) and weighs only 100 g. For applications with a low duty cycle, which include up to eight pings per day, the asset tracker is operated continuously with harvested solar energy, according to SODAQ. This should make the tracker ideal for a wide range of logistics, offshore, site management, and general asset tracking applications.
The tracker integrates a light sensor, an accelerometer, a temperature sensor and status LEDs and is fed by a 0.5 W solar panel. It also offers position accuracy of 5 to 20 m for GPS, 10 to 50 m for Wi-Fi and over 100 m for cell phones.
Jan Willem Smeenk, CEO of SODAQ, who also co-founded the pioneering online travel website Booking.com, comments:
“With hundreds of billions of devices installed on the Internet of Things around the world, batteries are suddenly becoming an important issue.”
Smeenk continues: “First there is the cost problem of having to check and replace batteries, which in large IoT installations quickly become the biggest cost factor during the life of an IoT product or sensor. And that cost factor becomes even more significant as the cost of cell phone data subscription continues to drop to what I soon forecast to be around $ 1 a year. “
Second, there is the environmental impact of billions of battery waste per year. For me, the future of the Internet of Things really has to be battery-free and therefore, wherever possible, self-sufficient. And so the SODAQ TRACK SOLAR is a firm step in this direction for the cellular IoT. “
According to Smeenk, the SODAQ TRACK SOLAR can be operated without a battery by making the best possible use of the available hardware and software: “This includes the low-energy properties of the Nordic nRF9160 SiP itself and follows the three golden rules of low-energy IoT design: sleep as often as you can possible, work or work as briefly as possible and communicate as briefly as possible when on the air. “