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Off Grid Energy Independence
Posted on May 26, 2009 by  & 

Update from Infinite Power Solutions

In March 2009 Energy Harvesting Journal covered the breaking news that Infinite Power Solutions had completed building their volume manufacturing facility, see Manufacturing of Thin-Film Micro-Energy Cells. IDTechEx recently met with Infinite Power Solutions and brings you an update.

The battery technology

Infinite Power solutions produce thin, lithium based rechargeable batteries. Some of the key unique's of the batteries are:
  • The number of times the batteries can be recharged from a full discharge - which is over 20,000. Typical rechargeable batteries are limited to recharging just a few hundred times
  • The batteries are thin at just 170 microns thick, and can be stacked
  • They are solid state lithium and therefore do not have any of the heating issues that conventional lithium batteries have.
  • Solid state construction eliminates liquid electrolytes meaning lifetime is not limited to ten years as it would normally be.
  • The batteries have a wide operating temperature range - from -40 to 85 degrees Celsius
  • Near zero leakage
Recharge time from complete discharge is about 20 minutes, or 10 minutes for 90% recharge. A one inch square battery has a current load of approximately 0.7mAh, and this can be increased by stacking the batteries as desired by the application.
In recent tests, IPS demonstrated a continuous discharge current measurement of 170mA at 25°C from a single 1 square-inch (25.4mm x 25.4mm x 0.17mm) size battery—equivalent to a postage stamp. This translates to an active area continuous current density of 45mA/cm2. Considering a starting discharge capacity of 0.7mAh, this high current equates to a nominal 240 capacity rate (C-rate). In comparison, a typical Li-ion cell phone battery delivers less than 10mA/cm2, or 4 times less current per unit area.
Source: Infinite Power Solutions

Application to energy harvesting

The batteries are a key enabling technology for energy harvesting devices, based on the huge number of times the batteries can be recharged, their form factor etc. They can enable wireless sensors to last for many decades. In several examples shown to IDTechEx, the batteries proved capable of accepting DC and AC signals, and delivering a high peak power for radio transmission on sensors. Virtually all types of energy harvesters can be used, such as photovoltaics to piezoelectrics to RF energy emitted from a cellphone. They provide enough energy storage required for wireless sensor network (WSN) nodes.
Infinite Power Solutions has even embedded its batteries into printed circuit boards (PCBs), designed to last for life and it removes the area of the battery as a discrete component, enabling smaller package units.
The company is shipping first product now and will begin volume production this year.
For more information, meet Infinite Power Solutions at the IDTechEx Energy Harvesting & Storage conference and exhibition in Cambridge, UK on June 3-4
Top image source Infinite Power Solutions

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Posted on: May 26, 2009

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