Holst Centre/IMEC Evaluation Service Advances Micro-Energy Storage Systems

August 25, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

Power is a huge challenge for wireless devices. The number of wireless implementations is increasing so quickly that companies need help finding the best way to power these systems. The problem is significant enough that groups are coming at it from numerous angles, hoping to find solutions that deal with every level of wireless powering – from low voltage to high voltage.

At the portable device level, Holst Centre/IMEC has developed a tool that will help solve the problems associated with high power demand and batteries for wireless systems that are often too big for wearable applications. Within its Wireless Autonomous Transducer Solutions program at Holst Centre, IMEC develops microsystems to generate and store energy to improve the autonomy and reduce the size of wireless autonomous transducer systems. Targeted applications include wearable healthcare monitoring, lifestyle, gaming, industrial monitoring systems, and vehicles.

Holst Centre/IMEC is offering a new benchmarking and evaluation service for low-power micro-energy systems. The service is based on standardized analysis and confidential benchmarking to other energy storage systems. It provides an independent and objective evaluation of the functionality in the low power range to manufacturers of energy storage systems and customers wishing to integrate the most appropriate energy storage in their products (e.g. manufacturers of miniaturized smart systems). Such systems include thin-film, flexible and printable batteries and supercapacitors.

The research center has particular expertise in ultra-low power (µW-mW) energy storage systems, through their partnership with industry. Specialized testing facilities are available utilizing a standardized, validated and automated test protocol for micro-energy storage systems. Measurements include impedance, lifetime and capacity analysis, with possible temperature ranges between -40 to 125°C.