Solar-powered wireless tag works in the fields

December 30, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
Chip-scale photovoltaics developer Sol Chip Ltd. (Haifa, Israel) has introduced a solar-powered wireless tag that can be used to connect sensors to the Internet.

Sol Chip has provided an exemplar application of the Sol Chip Comm (SCC) tag in agriculture where the tag can be maintenance free and powered continuously by daylight.

An SCC can feed real-time data from up to hundreds of agriculture-related sensors, including those that monitor soil moisture, soil temperature, ambient temperature, air temperature, nutrients levels and more, into a precision agriculture application server. This data is analyzed to make data-driven adjustments for optimizing water and fertilization consumption and improving crop yields.

Sol Chip was founded in 2009 and has developed a chip-scale photovoltaic energy harvester which can provide voltages at between 0.75V and 9V useful for autonomous low-power electronic systems. The PV cell can produce 3.3-milliwatts in full daylight and up to 20-microwatts under office lighting.

In addition to precision agriculture and smart irrigation, Sol Chip's SCC device can be applied to smart cities, smart grids, asset tracking and similar applications.

"With our LightBattery technology, Sol Chip is uniquely positioned to realize our vision of enabling billions of autonomous IoT devices for many different market sectors in a way that is cost effective and environmentally sustainable," said Shani Keysar, founder and CEO of Sol Chip, in a statement. "Our new SCC device clearly demonstrates these qualities for precision agriculture and smart irrigation and we are working on more applications for additional market sectors."

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