Ultra-efficient battery chargers for wearable and smart sensor products

08-07-2021 | e-peas | Power

Meeting the demand for streamlined power management solutions for energy harvesting hardware, e-peas has released a new family of battery charger devices. While the company’s existing PMICs provide direct power delivery to the application, as well as the charging of energy storage elements (such as Li-Ion batteries or super-capacitors), the AEM10900, AEM10300 and AEM30300 are wholly dedicated to the charging function. This enables them to be used in situations that require a simpler implementation, where there are space or cost constraints that must be considered. The PMICs can achieve zero quiescent current draw from the battery - indicating that if energy harvesting stops for a prolonged duration, the energy stored in the battery will not be wasted supplying the PMIC.

Working together with a single-cell photovoltaic panel, the highly integrated AEM10900 PMIC boost converter is optimised for solar-based energy harvesting implementations. Through its super-fast power point tracking functionality specifically set for objects in movement, this device can guarantee that it gets the most energy from the ambient illumination available – so as much as possible can be stored. Also, it has a 250mV cold start capability, which indicates it can commence with charging the battery even when light intensities are very low. It introduces an I2C interface to decrease the pin count and provide a larger set of possible configurations. It offers an array of features, including battery thermal protection, a joule counter to let the user know the amount of energy harvested, and a shipping mode in which the battery may not be charged. Key applications from this PMIC are wearable consumer products and body-worn medical monitoring equipment.

AEM10300 and AEM30300 PMICs both have built-in ultra-low-power DC-DC converters sustaining operation over an input voltage range that covers 100mV to 4.5V. Adaptive energy management allows these devices to automatically switch between boost, buck-boost and buck operational configurations as considered appropriate. This assures that optimal energy transfer is constantly maintained between the respective inputs and the storage element.

“As e-peas’ business matures and we continue to gain ever greater commercial traction, we must look to provide a more expansive portfolio of PMIC options to the market,” states Geoffroy Gosset, CEO and co-founder. “Following on from in-depth consultations with our customer base, it became clear that having compact solutions for charging only was going to be of real value. With these newly introduced devices, we will now be able to better serve the wearable, healthcare, consumer and industrial sectors, supporting them with technology that fully meets their needs in terms of performance, size and price point.”

By Natasha Shek