Updated: Jul 6
The Indium Infuser, the latest development by Element 4, embodies the future of IoT energy solutions by creating a sustainable and efficient energy management system for IoT sensors. The device is designed to extend the lifespan of sensors for a minimum of two years, while also minimizing their power
demands and reducing overall operational costs. The Infuser achieves this by intelligently leveraging solar energy and ambient light, reducing reliance on traditional batteries, thereby contributing to environmental sustainability. It is marketed as a strategic partner for businesses, offering a non-invasive solution that blends seamlessly with existing setups
The Indium system has several advantages. It provides a competitive edge to sensor companies, enhancing their products' appeal and performance in the rapidly growing IoT market. By automating power management, it allows companies to focus on their core product features. The Indium system also reduces maintenance and replacement costs by lessening the reliance on traditional batteries and increasing sensor lifespan. The commitment to renewable energy and sustainability is another selling point, potentially resonating with environmentally conscious consumers. The Indium system is versatile, designed to work in various conditions - indoor, outdoor, and low-light environments
The Indium system is available in three versions: PowerBoost, PowerMax, and PowerEase. PowerBoost is designed to offset power-intensive transmission events and is most suitable for sensor systems where transmission
events drive the majority of power consumption. PowerMax is an advanced energy harvesting solution that powers both transmission events and the entire sensor system. It's intended for sensor systems with moderate power consumption operating in environments abundant in ambient energy sources. PowerEase is an easy-to-integrate, non-invasive approach to energy harvesting that includes a proprietary MCU (Microcontroller Unit) that monitors and manages power availability during transmission events
The Indium system uses three custom solar films, each designed to thrive in specific light conditions ranging from as low as 50 lux to 100,000 lux. These include the Outdoor Flex for direct and indirect sunlight, Indoor Low Light Flex for indoor settings like warehouses, offices, and retail spaces, and Ultra Low Light OPV for ambient light, natural or artificial
In terms of industry implications, the Indium Infuser helps reduce operational costs, dependence on grid power, and sustainability concerns related to traditional power sources. Its ability to harness light even in low-light conditions allows it to operate effectively in various deployment scenarios,
including indoor and low-light environments. Its use of a renewable energy source - light - promotes a more sustainable and eco-friendly solution. Additionally, by extending the battery life of IoT sensors, the Indium Infuser reduces the frequency of battery replacement, thus minimizing maintenance costs and effort
Element 4 aims to disrupt the industrial IoT market with its technological innovations, enabling manufacturers to implement both small and large-scale solutions. Besides light, their technology will also be able to harvest energy from vibrations, thermal energy, and radio frequency in the near future. This multifaceted approach makes devices autonomous, maintenance-free, and sustainable
It's worth noting that most IoT devices currently use Li-ion batteries, which present sustainability concerns. Lithium demand is expected to exceed supply by 2025, driving costs higher. These batteries are also volatile, demand extensive maintenance, and perform poorly in cold temperatures. Finally, many lithium and cobalt mines have a history of human rights violations, including, but not limited
to, child labor and other related and documented abuses.
Despite its numerous advantages, the Indium system is not without challenges. IoT networks often involve a substantial number of devices, and operational costs can be significant. However, by enhancing the energy efficiency and durability of IoT devices, the Indium Infuser can help organizations achieve significant cost savings. Dependence on grid power can limit the deployment of IoT solutions in some areas, but the Indium Infuser's unique ability to harvest light from as low as 50 lux enables it to operate effectively indoors and in other low-light conditions
In conclusion, the Indium Infuser is an innovative solution addressing the pressing needs of IoT power management. With its focus on sustainable energy harvesting, it embodies the future of IoT energy solutions, creating a symbiotic relationship between technology and the environment. It not only enhances the longevity and reliability of sensor-driven devices, but also reduces operational costs and promotes environmental sustainability. By seamlessly integrating with existing systems, the Indium Infuser provides a strategic partnership to sensor manufacturers, reinforcing their competitive advantage in the rapidly growing IoT market. Ultimately, the Indium Infuser is a testament to the power of renewable energy, paving the way for a greener, more efficient future in IoT.