Power Consumption with the New Wave of IoT Adoption

Power Consumption with the New Wave of IoT Adoption

Cisco predicts that there will be about 50 billion IoT devices in 2020. Although these devices are reasonably low-power intensive, their cumulative use will strain our electrical grids and place an enormous challenge to the networks and data centres to which they are connected.

More businesses plan on adopting IoT systems to improve their business processes and make life easier for employees & customers. Most of these devices will be connected to the mainline power, while others will require a battery that needs to be recharged on a regular basis.

A considerable amount of data will be generated due to IoT devices, which puts the onus on device manufacturers to reduce peak load on the grid and design more energy-efficient technologies. It is also helpful to implement energy-saving programs that shift load to off-peak times or reduce consumption.

Many engineers are engaged in finding unique ways to explore possible solutions. One innovative project comes from researchers at the SRM Institute of Science and Technology Ramapuram Campus Chennai. The students established a network association between remote PMC controllers and IoT devices with the help of an Ethernet or 4G network. The best part is that their solution can be introduced on a virtual machine using Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, IBM Bluemix, etc.

Their project involved the use of the following tools and devices:

  • 1 x Arduino
  • Current detecting hardware
  • 1 x CT sensor YHDC SCT-013-000
  • 1 x Burden resistor 18 Ohms if supply voltage is 3.3V, or 33 Ohms if supply voltage is 5V
  • 2 x 10k Ohm resistors (or any equivalent worth resistor pair up to 470k Ohm)
  • 1 x 10uF capacitor
  • A breadboard and some single centre wire

They were able to reduce the consumption of electricity with the use of commercially available devices. A more in-depth review of their project can be found here.


Why Power Consumption Matters

The ideal IoT sensor should be installed anywhere without the involvement of wires and run indefinitely. It necessitates power management because wireless communication is power intensive. Manufacturers will have to find novel ways to reduce power consumption. They can do this in several ways, including the following:

  • Using lower power capabilities of the microprocessor
  • Disabling wireless transmitters when not in use for long
  • Disabling unused peripherals
  • Using wide power supply traces on the circuit board
  • Including power rail capacitors to smooth out voltage dips
  • Using high-efficiency regulators


Selecting the Right Radio

When it comes to developing connected IoT devices, most manufacturers will have to build the right radio based on the needs of the applications. A Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radio works best for small devices that consume low power, but they often need a gateway to communicate with the internet. WiFi devices will need a WiFi network. Cellular devices are great for remote areas and are free from the constraints of WiFi.

Regardless of the type of connection used for an IoT product, it is essential to minimize power use. Radios will play a critical role in creating cost-effective IoT products that lost longer and have a greater lifespan.

Click here to learn how Tantiv4 can help you reduce power consumption & plan out the complete solution in your IoT ecosystem.

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