Increase battery life, reduce current drain and simulate batteries of IoT devices

Current draw in different modes of IoT devices

Maximizing Battery Life of IoT Devices

By Minimizing Load Current Draw

The Challenge of Measuring Low IoT Currents

To maximize battery life, your product current draw must be kept to an absolute minimum. This requires that you use low power components and efficient techniques to de-energize components when they are not in use. You need sensitive measurement instrumentation to measure current levels as low as nA.

Determine the load current profile

It can be difficult to characterize the load current profile of a prototype IoT device, because you must measure the current in a wide range of operating states:

  • sleep mode (from nA to µA),
  • standby modes (from hundreds of microamps to tens of milliamps), and
  • active states (from milliamps to amps), including short current bursts due to wireless transmissions

To accurately capture these widely varying load current levels, you need an exceptional measurement solution that includes:

  • A wide current measurement range, from hundreds of nanoamps to amps
  • The measurement speed to capture current pulses just a few microseconds wide
  • A large memory buffer to store the prototype device’s current profile

Keithley’s DMM7510 7½-digit Graphical Sampling Multimeter is well-equipped to meet these demands, as it offers:

  • pA current sensitivity
  • 1 Msample/s sampling
  • 27 M data points of memory

Simulate any battery type

How low can the battery voltage drop before your IoT device turns off? Gauging battery performance at different stages of battery discharge is difficult, as it requires instrumentation that can accurately simulate battery performance.

To address this, Keithley’s 2281S-20-6 Battery Simulator makes it easy to model any type of battery. It allows you to efficiently test prototype IoT devices in any battery state, with high repeatability to effectively estimate battery life. Combining a 2281S-20-6 Battery Simulator with a DMM7510 Graphical Sampling Multimeter will give you a complete solution for assessing power consumption and battery life of your IoT prototypes.

Battery simulator

Program the battery simulator for any state of charge, such as near the completely discharged state, to determine how a product performs under a low battery condition and to determine the low battery shut-off voltage.

Model any type of battery

Battery model

Create any battery model.

The final piece of the puzzle is to create a model for the battery that powers your IoT device. Keithley’s 2450 or 2460 Graphical SourceMeter® Source Measure Unit (SMU) instruments make it easy to create the model for the battery used by your product.

A battery model-generating script operates the SMU instrument as a controlled current load and derives the model parameters.

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