Energy harvesting is the capturing of small amounts of energy from external sources so it can be converted into electricity. The energy that is harvested can be used right away or stored for later use. Energy harvesting technology is still in the early stages of development but could eventually be used to provide electricity where there is no power grid or power from solar power, vibration, thermal energy, and RF.
Currently, energy harvesting utilizing batteries are used in applications in which extended battery life is needed, including various sensors, device conditions, wearable devices, and radio frequency identification (RFID).
Nichicon produces lithium titanium-oxide (LTO) batteries that can be used for energy harvesting applications. Our rechargeable LTO batteries have qualities that allow them to store energy from harvesting solar and artificial light sources. The energy harvesting qualities combined with their 25,000 charge and discharge lifecycle make our LTO batteries an ideal option for applications in which a long-lasting, high-energy density source is needed.
What is Energy Harvesting?
Energy harvesting device can capture ambient energy and convert it into electricity so it can be used immediately or stored for later use. Ambient energy is energy produced by various sources like light and heat that will just become wasted energy. The goal of energy harvesting is to harness ambient energies so they can be converted into electricity to power devices and equipment.
Energy harvesting technology can harness the following basic sources of energy:
- Heat energy from engines, furnaces, heaters, and friction
- Light energy from sunlight and artificial sources
- Kinetic energy from vibrations and mechanical stress
- RF energy from radio waves
Batteries used in energy harvesting must store the energy they harvest and use it as needed for the specific application. Energy harvesting batteries provide the following benefits:
- Can power electronics in the absence of a wired power source
- Eliminates the need to replace batteries
- Maintenance free
- Promote environmental responsibility
Rechargeable LTO batteries are an effective solution for electronics and devices that depend on batteries. LTO batteries provide dependable, long-lasting performance while virtually eliminating the need to replace the battery. LTO batteries are commonly used in the following:
- IIoT and IoT applications
- Space constrained, portable devices
- Wireless sensors
- Wearable technologies
- Asset tracking applications
- Portable electronics using intermittent ambient energy sources
The photovoltaic energy harvested by the Nichicon SLB battery can provide power to the device while the device is not being powered externally. The combination of the rapid charge and discharge abilities, 25,000 charge/ discharge lifecycle, makes Nichicon’s SLB batteries able to consistently provide the power needed in specific applications for a long period of time without the need for maintenance or battery replacement.
What Makes Nichicon Batteries Great for Energy Harvesting Applications?
Nichicon LTO batteries can store harvested energy from light which makes them ideal batteries for photovoltaic applications. The energy harvested from light sources allows our LTO batteries to be a dependable power solution, which results in consistent power that meets the needs of the application.
The following are the main advantages of Nichicon’s energy harvesting LTO batteries:
- Rapid charging: It only takes about 3 minutes for our LTO batteries to reach a full charge while it can take about an hour for standard lithium-ion batteries to fully charge. The rapid charging capability and ability to harvest photovoltaic energy allows for long-lasting, high-power performance.
- Small size: Our board mounted LTO batteries have a diameter of only 3 millimeters which makes them a great option for space constrained applications.
- Long life: Our LTO batteries can last for more than 25,000 charge/discharge cycles and have excellent resistance to overcharging and over-discharging, ensuring dependable performance. These batteries can also run on harvested energy when discharged which contributes to their long lifespan.
- Maintenance free: Our LTO batteries are maintenance free and their long lifespan, which is enhanced by their energy harvesting capabilities, greatly reduces the frequency of battery replacement.
- Sustainable: Our LTO batteries can charge at a low rate by harvesting solar and light energy which makes them a long-lasting, eco-friendly solution.
- High power density: Our LTO batteries deliver a higher power density that rivals electric double-layer capacitors (EDLCs) and supercapacitors while surpassing the power density of traditional lithium-ion batteries.
- High safety: Our LTO batteries can operate in many different conditions and temperatures with a very low risk of explosion or ignition.
- Low temperature: Our LTO batteries can safely and effectively charge and discharge in temperatures as low as -30°C.
- High power discharge: Our LTO batteries surpass the discharge time of standard lithium-ion batteries and can fully discharge in as little as 3 minutes. The energy harvesting capabilities of our LTO batteries allows them to remain uncharged while still providing power which can extend their lifespan.
- UL 1642 & IEC 62133-2 certified
- ISO 9001 & ISO 14001 certified
The high energy density lithium batteries from Nichicon have a higher voltage output than many other batteries, superior performance and charge/ discharge capabilities, and a longer lifespan. You can expect consistent performance in a small size.
To learn more about our high-density batteries, call Nichicon or talk to a distributor or sales rep in your area.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONs
The lithium titanate battery (LTO) shares many characteristics with the lithium-ion battery. One difference is the LTO anode. An LTO battery uses lithium titanate oxide, while a lithium-ion battery uses carbon. By using lithium titanate, the battery has a significant performance improvement.
The SLB is a battery with long leads, just like a standard capacitor. The leaded profile allows for soldering directly to the circuit board using hand soldering or a select solder technique. Lithium Titanate batteries require an additional mounting bracket or holder placed on a circuit board. The Nichicon SLB (LTO) take less board space allowing them to be used in very compact or densely populated circuit boards.
LTO batteries are safer; they have an extremely small risk of ignition if there is a short. The SLB, Nichicon’s LTO battery, has superior charge and discharge capabilities, such as a 20C charge rate. Even higher rates are possible with pulsed discharges, like those used in telecommunications.
‘The SLB can withstand up to 25,000 charge/discharge cycles and have a lower cold temperature rating than a lithium-ion battery. And its low internal resistance allows energy harvesters to charge with weak currents without loss. They will not ignite if a short occurs. In addition to the advantages previously mentioned, the SLB comes in aluminum electrolytic case styles and size.
LTO batteries provide a substantial increase in capacity and demonstrate minimal self-discharge, distinguishing them from electric double-layer capacitors and enabling prolonged discharge. Remarkably, smaller rechargeable LTO batteries offer an impressive 20-30-fold increase in energy density compared to equivalently sized electric double-layer capacitors. Leveraging this significant advantage, our LTO batteries present a viable alternative to electric double-layer capacitors, delivering consistent power output over extended periods.
Our LTO batteries stand out in terms of their rapid charging, discharging, and extended lifespan, surpassing the capabilities of typical lithium-ion batteries while ensuring enhanced safety. Conventional lithium-ion rechargeable batteries face difficulties in achieving high power discharge, but our LTO batteries effortlessly handle this challenge with exceptional charge/discharge performance and remarkably fast charging times. The ability of LTO batteries to charge rapidly makes them ideal for devices that require quick charging intervals or scenarios. Unlike lithium-ion batteries LTO batteries can also be charged with weaker or low charging currents.