Sustainability in the smart home
Last year, global electricity demand grew by 6%, straining local supply chains and driving up electricity prices. This growing demand for energy is accelerating global warming and contributing to the climate crisis. There are many ways to stop climate change, including switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy and protecting rainforests like the Amazon. But what can we do on an individual level to help?
One thing we can all do is use less electricity. Don't worry, this doesn't mean you have to sit in the dark. Rather, it is important to try to minimize energy waste. Massively reducing our energy consumption can make a huge difference, and smart appliances are designed to help reduce our household's energy consumption.
Smart thermostats and smart plugs allow users to easily set their preferences and adjust their temperature and air conditioning, whether on the sofa or on the go. With AI improvements, smart thermostats are now learning how to anticipate better users' heating and cooling preferences based on usage patterns. These smart-systems can help significantly reduce your energy consumption and energy bills, a win-win situation for consumers. Plus, smart devices can help you identify problems with heating or cooling systems and remind you when it's time to change air filters.
Smart lighting is another convenience that contributes to sustainability. With smart lighting systems, you can set your lighting preferences based on location, time of day, and whenever the system senses someone is home. This type of customization, together with the use of efficient LED bulbs, can go a long way in reducing energy consumption. The need for energy harvesting
To become more sustainable, the IoT industry must tackle the battery problem. Billions of batteries are thrown away every year, leaving harmful chemicals in landfills. Energy harvesting offers a solution.
Smart devices can use energy harvesting technology and other energy efficiency improvements such as low-power radio and wake-up-on-demand technology to extend battery life so that a single battery can extend battery life. intelligent product life. In some cases, energy harvesting technology can even allow devices to run completely without batteries. In addition to the convenience of not having to replace batteries, users benefit from cost savings. On a large scale, smart energy harvesting devices will help the IoT industry become much more sustainable.
Sources for energy collection
Smart devices use several approaches to energy harvesting today, including photovoltaic (PV), radio frequency (RF), and mechanical and thermal motion. Photovoltaics is one of the most popular approaches to energy harvesting in the IoT industry, particularly for human interface devices such as keyboards and mice.
One thing that will surprise many people is that modern photovoltaic cells don't require a lot of light to harvest energy. Photovoltaic cells can easily harvest light at typical indoor light levels and can even harvest energy from non-visible light sources such as infrared. Today, glass substrate is the most common material for photovoltaic cells, but continuous innovations in photovoltaic technology allow photovoltaic cells to be built with more flexible materials. These new materials will make it easier to integrate energy harvesting into multiple IoT devices with more elaborate physical shapes and sizes, such as environmental sensors and beacons.
RF energy is an option that uses an RF source (such as a transmitter) to power nearby devices. The frequency, transmission power and duty cycle of the transmitter determine the distance of the devices from the transmitter. Power can be transferred at any frequency, but devices can be up to five or six meters from the source when lower RF frequencies (such as 900 MHz) are used. Radio frequency provides a great way to power multiple devices at once, making it a great solution for retail or industrial environments, including factories.
Mechanical movement offers another option for energy harvesting technology. It can come from a variety of sources, such as the actuation movement of a button press or the vibration of a motor. Pressure on the sole of a running shoe can also be used as a mechanical source of energy harvesting.
Some examples of mechanical harvesters include resonant motor vibrating harvesters and piezoelectric generators that respond to mechanical pressure. Finally, thermal energy is another readily available source of energy to power wireless monitors and sensors. These heat sources include engines, hot water pipes, and the human body. IoT devices that rely on thermal energy use a thermoelectric generator (TEG) that converts the temperature gradient between a heat source and the environment into electrical energy.
While much more needs to be done to mitigate the effects of climate change, smart devices, when accompanied by energy harvesting technology, can now be an integral part of our sustainability efforts.