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Solid State Batteries for Industrial Applications

Application Note: A vision for Industrial Internet of Things (Industry 4.0)

Introduction

Moving industry towards an era of full automation and smart manufacturing within the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT or Industry 4.0) requires new ecosystems with people, products, machines and services connected through the cloud. This interconnection requires the deployment of small size sensor nodes which can be autonomously powered.

Machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity is currently often done using cabled devices or conventional battery powered devices. Using these incumbent technologies has installation & maintenance costs associated with such factors as the cost of deploying cables and retro-fitting sensors in old buildings, plus changing batteries at regular intervals. Further, it is often impractical and sometimes impossible when sensors and devices need to be placed in:

  • difficult-to-reach places (e.g. downhole mining, military, geophysics).
  • hot environments (drilling, machinery, engines, pipeline inspection gauges).
  • high vibration environments (drilling, machinery).

Currently deployed batteries include polymer or liquid electrolytes which limit the operating temperature window and may leak with high vibrations. Industrial cylindrical primary batteries are available which may operate to 160°C, but these are quite bulky (AA type). Some primary coin cells operate up to 125°C, but are not rechargeable. Rechargeable coin cells often have a 70°C top operating temperature, too low for some industrial applications.

Rechargeable coin cells often have a 70°C top operating temperature, too low for some industrial applications.

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Disclaimer: Statements in this article should not be considered investment advice, which is best sought directly from a qualified professional.