Recently, two powerhouses in tech announced an environmentally-friendly IoT team-up. Powercast, an industry leader in long-range, power-over-distance wireless charging technologies, and KYOCERA, a leading global manufacturer of electronic components, have come together to build new, battery-free IoT device-powering solutions.
Powercast specializes in radio-frequency (RF energy, or radio waves)-based, over-the-air, wirelessly powered technology. Since 2003, the company’s solutions involving FCC-approved transmitters and receiver chips have enabled the automated charging of multiple devices without physical charging mats or direct line of sight.
KYOCERA, founded back in 1959, remains dedicated to the successful manufacturing of high-quality, innovative technologies via their advanced materials and components.
The companies’ combined goal: Sustainable, battery-free alternatives capable of harvesting power from industry-shared RFID readers to power electronic shelf labels (ESLs), along with RFID sensor tags and other non-battery-dependent devices.
First, a tiny Powercast PCC110 Powerharvester receiver chip is embedded in specific electronic devices. It then harvests RF out of the air when within range of a UHF RFID reader, converting said RF to direct current (DC) before storing it a designated KYOCERA AVX supercapacitor for when-needed discharger. This creates battery-independent power storage that eliminates battery maintenance and replacement needs, and it keeps undue disposable batteries out of landfills.
Charles Greene, PhD, COO and CTO of Powercast, spoke about this new partnership and its objective. “The ability to sustainably power green devices solely from the RF-harvested from deployed RFID readers has the potential to solve the main problem IoT deployments face – battery replacement.”
Greene believes that, with KYOCERA’s supercapacitors storing energy generated by Powercast tech and discharging as needed (or recharging appropriate batteries), this collaboration will make IoT more sustainable for years to come.
Mamoon Abedraboh, KYOCERA’s Global Product Marketing Manager, believes this as well. “Our collaborative effort can be used to develop environmentally-responsible smart home IoT ecosystems that eliminate disposable batteries, extend backup time, and provide instantaneous power pulses as needed.”
Partnered, Powercast’s and KYOCERA’s shared vision sheds a very hopeful light on IoT sustainability heading into 2023.
Edited by Greg Tavarez