A solution has recently appeared that can clear this list. Through continuous development and improvement, NGK's EnerCera batteries have reached the requirements to become a viable power source for maintenance-free solutions.
The EnerCera battery has unique characteristics of both lithium-ion batteries and capacitors. EnerCera is presented in smart tags and smart cards, as well as wearable devices equipped with sensors. Progress is being made in carrying out sample assessments in more than six hundred companies worldwide.
At Electronica 2022, the company presented several joint demonstrations of its EnerCera batteries with partners.
NGK is actively working on collaborations for various applications where EnerCera can potentially add new value, for example through product design or maintenance-free implementation. As NGK Europe Vice President Dr. Stefan Fischer commented: "NGK Europe works with our partners to implement such technologies in innovative programs to create new values for our society." These new collaborations were unveiled at Electronica 2022.
Check it out here:
Building maintenance-free IoT applications with WPT
NGK's collaboration using EnerCera in combination with WPT (Wireless Power Transfer) demonstrates a wide range of potential applications. These include smart logistics sensor tags co-developed with Panasonic Corporation, smart home remote control sensors with SMK Corporation, WPT receiver development kit with Torex semiconductor and Ossia Inc., and more.
One notable example of collaboration is Energous Corporation, a developer of radio frequency charging for wireless power grids, together with e-peas SA, a company that develops and markets ultra-low power semiconductor technologies. Their WattUP PowerBridge transmitter is FCC Part 15 approved for equipment. Also, the European authorized body verified that the Energous WattUp PowerHub wireless charging transmitter meets the European technical requirements for radio equipment. This enables unlimited use of wireless charging in Europe.
Combining NGK batteries with award-winning WPT technology enables battery charging via wireless power. EnerCera batteries enable maintenance-free IoT applications by eliminating the need for battery replacement and cumbersome power cables.
The system works as follows: the transmitter emits radio waves, and the antenna collects the energy of these electromagnetic waves, generating a very small charging current. This is one of the key features of the EnerCera battery. With low leakage current and low self-discharge, EnerCera provides continuous charging with low charging currents as low as 1mA and makes this device virtually maintenance-free, i.e. no need to charge the device.
Energy harvesting – to carbon neutral solutions
In other collaborations, NGK works with Exeger Operations AB, Tachibana Electronic Solution Co., Ltd. and Semtech Corporation to develop a maintenance-free indoor/outdoor high-precision, ultra-thin and very compact position tracker.
This GPS tracker is a combination of the Exeger Powerfoyle, a flexible solar panel that can also harvest light. Thanks to the continuous charging of EnerCera, the GPS tracker is maintenance-free. As such, it can be installed both indoors and outdoors and can be optimized to work even in very low light conditions. It can be used in other applications, such as positioning tracking in warehouses and container yards.
Key features of EnerCera include being extremely lightweight, able to use very low charging current, and that it does not have the disadvantages of ignition hazards like conventional Li-ion rechargeable batteries. Thanks to the ceramic-based semi-solid battery technology, the battery will not catch fire even if you puncture it with a nail. This greatly reduces the storage and transportation limitations that typically exist with lithium-ion batteries.
The future possibilities for EnerCera seem endless. Potential collaborations could include cold chain management for food, wine, vaccines and other similar requirements, monitoring systems to protect children and the elderly or manage office staff activities, or wireless sensors and devices for smart home and smart building applications. , etc.
In the future, more and more maintenance-free devices will be required, which means that EnerCera has the potential to be everywhere, especially if NGK continues to actively develop new technological solutions together with its partners.
Dedicated EnerCera site
NGK Insulators - 2-56, Suda-cho, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya, JAPAN.
NGK EUROPE - Westerbachstrasse 32, D-61476 Kronberg im Taunus, GERMANY.
NGK ELECTRONICS USA – 2520 Mission College Boulevard, Suite 104, Santa Clara, California 95054, USA.