A solar panel is a device that converts sunlight into electricity by using photovoltaic (PV) cells. PV cells are made of materials that generate electrons when exposed to light. The electrons flow through a circuit and produce direct current (DC) electricity, which can be used to power various devices or be stored in batteries. Solar panels are also known as solar cell panels, solar electric panels, or PV modules. Some advantages of solar panels are that they use a renewable and clean source of energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and lower electricity bills. Some disadvantages are that they depend on the availability and intensity of sunlight, require maintenance and cleaning, and have high initial costs. Solar panels are widely used for residential, commercial, and industrial purposes, as well as for space and transportation applications, even thought some gps suppliers developed solar-powered gps asset tracking device.
IoT gps asset tracking have become an indispensable part for many industries. However, gps asset tracking can become costly if a gps asset tracking device runs out of battery and stops relaying data. Another challenge is replacing depleted batteries, particularly for large industries which need to allocate time and resources on maintaining thousands of gps asset tracking devices. Besides operational nuisance, this process is detrimental to the environment, especially considering that it can be avoided.
The number of IoT devices worldwide is growing rapidly; and so is the volume of batteries needed to facilitate this growth. With an expected 100 billion wasted AA-batteries in 2050, this is roughly equivalent to 300 olympic size swimming pools. Evidently, there is a growing environmental problem, one that IoT companies need to take responsibility for. But how do we deal with such an immense amount of toxic waste? The solution begins with creating low power devices that make more efficient use of the energy they have at their disposal. Then, as a result of the lower power requirements, it can function with the voltage generated by attaching a solar panel and harvesting (more) sustainable energy sources, such as sun or indoor lights.
However, simply integrating a solar panel is not enough to build an effective solar-powered gps asset tracking device. Typically, solar panels need to generate a certain level of power for the energy to be stored. Therefore, selecting an appropriately sized solar panel and matching it with a highly versatile configurable PMIC, is essential for harvesting enough energy for the device function.
When researching and deploying gps asset tracking solutions, it’s important to consider the total cost (financial, time, and environmental impact) of device ownership through its lifetime. Where solar-powered solutions are a fantastic fit for many IoT applications, in asset tracking applications we have found primary cell battery-powered devices offer better performance and longevity, require less hands-on maintenance and management, and are able to support important features like recovery mode and movement-based events.