Dutch battery and energy storage start-up, Tryst Energy, has developed a product to power internet-connected devices through solar energy.
The product is known as Light Energy. It aims to harvest the energy power of solar to replace the growing use of, and waste associated with, the millions of batteries that currently power IoT devices – soon to be 20 billion according to some estimates.
Instead, Tryst Energy claims to have produced a model that will enable IoT devices to be powered for 75 to 100 years, at the very least, through solar energy.
Batteries killing off IoT businesses
In conversation with The Next Web, Nick Kiran, the man in charge of everything from marketing to business development at Tryst Energy, said the idea was born out of the company’s frustration at the sheer number of batteries it wasted when developing IoT hardware.
“More than a few businesses in IoT get killed because of batteries that need to be replaced every three to five years. Sending someone to replace them, buying new batteries or even completely replacing entire IoT-products leads to tremendous amount of waste,” Kiran said.
Light Energy, so Tryst claims, is a way around this. The small module it uses does not require direct sunlight. Instead, it is fitted with efficient light receptors that mean it can power IoT-devices even in places with little light.
“Light Energy is like solar power but on steroids,” Kiran said. “It’s ridiculously efficient and works from only 200 lux, or in other words: from under your desk where there is almost no light. And it provides enough power to keep your IoT-products going, including radio frequency like Bluetooth LE or LoRaWAN.”
Kickstarting its campaign
The Light Energy module is made up of a custom-made energy harvesting circuit and a solar panel 35mm by 20mm in size. Supposedly, as Kiran said, it needs just four hours of 200 lux light to operate for 24 hours, and can generate a maximum power of 25mA. Finally, it can store energy in what’s called a supercap, which has the capacity to store 10 to 100 times more energy per unit volume than batteries.
Tryst is relying on funding through Kickstarter to get its campaign going, and is about one third of the way to its target of €30,000. The company is also working on its software development kits for developers and start-ups who are willing to join the campaign.
Should it achieve its funding goal, Kiran says Tryst plans to delve even further into Light Energy’s possibilities.
“After our Kickstarter, we are going to produce Light Energy harvesters as OEM-modules as well, so every product developer, start-up and enthusiast out there can start building a brighter world for tomorrow, without having to use batteries ever again,” he said.