Powering micro-controllers by Battery

Working with low-power applications, one of the most common topic are batteries. Questions like “Which one is the best battery?” is a very common one. We all know that there’s not a single answer for such question, and this post will explore the different options as well highlight the weakness and strengths of some common kinds of batteries.

Although this is can be considered a generic battery post, it has been written having low voltage micro-controller applications in mind, more specifically solutions like our Whisper Node product.

So the question the post tries to answer is: “Which is the best battery to power my micro-controller application?”

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Low Power Budget

One of the biggest challenge for the Internet of Things, especially for those devices using RF communication, is the power consumption. In many situations it’s normal to expect the wireless equipment to have their own source of power, instead of relying on an AC-DC power supply connected to the wall outlet. In the IoT world there is a real demand for 100% wireless devices, powered by battery or any kind of power harvesting.

The first question you need to answer yourself before start building battery powered circuits is: For how long I wish the device to run on new batteries? One day, a whole week, maybe a year? Or just be brave and say 2 decades.

On this post we’ll talk about the low power world, how you can plan, design and implement circuits that can work for years on a pair of wide available AA batteries. We’ll also present the common trade-off and techniques necessary to reduce power consumption, as well discuss how RF communication can be implemented with minimal power requirements.

This can be a very complex and long topic and we’ll try to keep it as much practical and simple as possible. Bear in mind that we won’t offer a ready-to-use, kind of copy and paste code. The whole idea is to be broader and educate how to identify and solve common problems.

Talking about Power

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