Industrial Internet-of-Things Goes Battery-less

The battery power of the devices usually limits industrial applications of IoT. Thanks to where they are located, replacing these batteries can be dangerous and not worth the risk. Most companies employing IoT solutions simply replace the device when the battery dies. However, a new startup called Everactive wants to solve this problem. By developing IoT devices that don’t need a battery to run, they may be making the technology far more attractive for businesses that are concerned about the longevity of their investment.

The limitations of having batteries on IoT devices only come to light after one considers how many units are likely to be online shortly. With one trillion machines in circulation (a conservative estimate), and if battery technology were to improve to a point to make them viable for up to a decade, that would still translate into over 274 million devices having to get their battery replaced daily.

More than Just Energy Harvesting

Making an IoT device viable without a battery is more than just harvesting vibrations to turn it into electricity. Everactive noted that the problem required rebuilding the electronics from the ground up to deal with a different source of power. The company hopes that its innovation will help the proliferation of IoT devices in the industrial sector. Currently, many industrial processes are unmonitored because there is simply no way to get a battery-powered or wired IoT device into a suitable location.

The company’s initial steps towards promoting their devices were application in industrial steam-trap monitoring. While there are existing methods for monitoring steam traps, the detectors used require frequent battery replacement at substantial cost. Branching off from there, the company also started providing technology to track the incidence of refinery flares. The successful implementation of these technologies brought the company to the notice of Fortune 100 businesses that have all looked into how Everactive implements its IoT solutions. Soon, we may see some of these companies investing in the startup because of the value that the technology provides.