Powering IoT Modules Using Solar Panels, Supercapacitors and an Automatic Buck/Boost Controller IC

The use of IoT modules is exhibiting a high rate of growth because of their low cost, ease of implementation, and easily documented impact upon end-user efficiency, reliability, and cost. Manufacturers, installers, and end-users of IoT modules are seeking ways to power these devices and essentially create a set-and-forget module. Set-and-forget means a significant ongoing effort to eliminate batteries or extend the life of batteries powering IoT modules.

Manufacturers of IoT modules are working to reduce their designs’ power consumption and also working with IC suppliers by requesting novel chipsets to provide quality power from harvested or scavenged sources.

This paper is an effort to document the performance and utility of supercapacitors when used in an IC that provides bidirectional buck-boost DC/DC regulation, supercapacitor cell charging and balancing functions, and automatic power switching to supercapacitors as primary power is lost.

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