Measuring IoT Battery Life with Test Software and Hardware

White Papers

For IoT-based infrastructure and consumer electronic IoT devices, designers must understand power consumption patterns and whether devices meet battery life requirements. In this white paper, learn how to overcome this challenge by gaining critical insights into battery run-down to predict battery life accurately.

This white paper looks at the following topics:

  • Considerations for Run-Down Testing Using a Battery
  • Value of Using a Battery Emulator vs. a Power Supply
  • How to Accurately Measure Battery Run Down
  • Software and Hardware Solution for Run-Down Testing Using a Battery
  • Software and Hardware Solution for Run-Down Testing Using a Battery Emulator

This topic is of critical importance as battery life can contribute significantly to the cost and reliability of Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure. Smart agriculture and industrial sensors, for example, often are expected to operate for 10+ years between charges.

Costs associated with monitoring and replacing failed batteries can be considerable. Statista estimates there are 10 billion active IoT devices worldwide in 2021, and a substantial percentage of them are battery-operated. The cost of replacing all those batteries, including labor, new batteries, and disposal of the old batteries, is significant. Also, expenses can soar because of infrastructure downtime caused by failed batteries. In the healthcare market, the cost is not just financial; it can be a matter of life and death.

For consumer electronic devices, battery life is a critical purchase consideration. For example, battery life is a key differentiator for smartwatch makers, with one manufacturer claiming its battery lasts ten days between charges. Poorly performing batteries can lead to low sales or a product completely failing in the market. Therefore, manufacturers must maximize battery life, and the battery life that companies advertise must match customers’ experiences. 

Battery life contributes to the cost and reliability of IoT-based infrastructure, including 5G, IoT connected factories, IoT security, smart farming, and connected healthcare systems, and more. Battery life can also be a key purchasing factor for consumer electronic IoT devices.

Another consideration is that while batteries are cheap, replacing them is not. Consumers can get sticker shock when they learn that replacing a battery can cost more than the entire IoT device.

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