I have a few questions relating to Memory & Power (Video 1.2b).
I wondered if there was any reason for using AA batteries as opposed to a LiPo?
I’d be interested to learn more about using ‘alternative’ energy sources to recharge batteries in-situ (Solar, Wind, Kinetic – Animal Movement, & more ‘exotic’ Hydrogen/ salt-water fuel cell system sources). Has anybody had experience with any of these?
In smaller applications, something like these ‘Moovement’ GPS Ear Tags, they have a battery and integrated solar panels. See: https://www.moovement.com.au/wildlife-tracking
As well as if anyone has had experience with Microbial Fuel Cells (MFC) on land or with gaining energy from sea-bed sediments in-situ? For example, see; ‘Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) as a Sustainable Land Monitoring Energy System’;
12 November 2020 12:13am
Really good points, and yes, renewable power sources, esp. solar, are often used.
For those who may not know, LiPo refers to Lithium Polymer batteries, a type of rechargeable battery. We tend to use rechargeable Lithium Ion because they're cheaper and have a higher power density.
We chose AA batteries as a starter to maximise the places the data logger can be deployed (caves, permanent shade etc), and to reduce the risk of it failing in the field due to power consumption versus recharge rate.
Also everyone's familiar with AA batteries, they can be sourced very easily (esp. in remote and rural places), and we can't ship batteries.
Having said that, we do use solar on devices but it's dependent on the application, deployment conditions and maintenance requirements.
When deciding AA batteries versus solar, we'll do a sun / weather audit of the deployment conditions, look at the power consumption based on when the device is active (and how often it’s taking readings), how much recharge we anticipate it will need, whether it can be mounted securely (solar panels get stolen in some areas we work), and whether mud or other debris getting on the solar panel and reducing / stopping the recharge, will be a show stopper.
Solar needs a different power circuitry on the board.
Hope that answers your question.
There's definitely some interesting renewable options and something to keep exploring, so we're also keen to hear others' experiences.