Can a 'batteryless design' increase the value of your product?

May 23, 2024

In an era where sustainability and innovation go hand in hand, i4 Product Design are developing innovative batteryless ways of powering portable devices. 

Implementing batteryless design (aka energy harvesting) technology into devices can bring many benefits for product owners and users – no more battery purchasing, monitoring, replacing, recharging or downtime.

Why go batteryless?

Recent advancements of portable and wireless devices have led to a huge surge in battery production and disposal (often improperly). Traditional battery operated devices usually share the same common issues. Users need to regularly replace or recharge batteries, monitor their lifespan, and ensure proper recycling. Additionally, modern compact batteries carry risks such as overheating and expanding.

Batteryless design addresses the aforementioned problems effectively. Harnessing local energy sources such as solar power, kinetic energy, vibrations, radio frequencies (RF), and temperature differentials, allows devices to operate and function effectively without the need for conventional batteries. Energy harvesting is a very positive approach for both portable and the 'fit-and-forget' device design. It simplifies the user experience and greatly improves the product's sustainability.

i4PD Battery Design User Research

By avoiding the inclusion of hazardous chemicals in used in batteries the overall carbon footprint (production and disposal) are significantly reduced. The disposal of batteries has long been overlooked but is now becoming more scrutinised by regulators and consumers. The marketing benefits of a sustainable design are substantial. A batteryless device that is both user-friendly and environmentally responsible can command a premium price.

There have been noises that the regulatory landscapes are evolving around batteries. It's anticipated that future legislation will impose stricter controls on battery use in portable devices. Embracing batteryless design sooner positions companies at the forefront of the impending wave, ensuring advanced compliance and competitive development advantage.

What are we doing at i4 Product Design?

Our in-house electronics team has been researching, exploring and implementing various methods of energy harvesting into working demonstrator devices. The research spans a wide range of energy sources – from solar, kinetic and vibration energy, to RF and thermal.

Example projects include innovative applications such as controls/switches, remote sensors, wearables and GPS trackers, all of which are powered by harvested energy. A recent milestone was the patent which was granted to i4PD for the design of a batteryless remote control (view patent here). Unlike traditional remotes that deplete battery power, even when idle, our design only harvests and uses energy when needed. A simple button press harnesses energy from the thumb to transmit a signal, eliminating the need for batteries entirely.

i4PD Batteryless Design Prototyping

How energy harvesting can work for you

At i4 Product Design, we have the expertise to transform your product concepts into reality using energy harvesting batteryless design. Our phased approach is tailored to your products specific requirements and technology readiness level. We ensure that we are leveraging the most appropriate energy source or sources available in the product’s environment.

Our team, process and facility are geared to accelerate your product development, providing a quality service with a fast turnaround. We achieve this with our comprehensive portfolio of reference designs, established relationships with reliable suppliers, and working with our network of trusted partners.

Components library shelf as part of the rapid hardware development process

If you’ve got a new product or idea you would like to develop, book a call to speak to one of our experienced engineers to discuss the next steps towards accelerating your product development.

To have a look at a selection of previous projects, please have a look at our portfolio of case studies.

Posted in: ,

Latest News

It all starts with a conversation.
Let's make something amazing together.

We'd love to hear from you.
Book a Meeting

Leverage our #DesignInsights to shape your development.

Subscribe for our webinars, articles and reports.
Subscribe Now
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram