21 June 2021

NOWI: POSITIVE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF ENERGY HARVESTING

Blog Post
NOWI: POSITIVE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF ENERGY HARVESTING

Tell us a little about your company.

Nowi is a private semiconductor firm founded in 2015, based in Delft, the Netherlands, with regional offices in the US and in Hong-Kong.

Nowi has developed a novel energy harvesting power management integrated circuit, the NH2, that combines top harvesting performance with the world’s smallest assembly footprint and lowest bill of material (BOM) cost. Thereby it simplifies the design process and lowers the threshold for any company to develop ‘Plug & Forget’ products.

 

What problem does your solution solve?

Nowi identified one critical bottleneck for the IoT: the power supply.

Fundamentally Nowi believes that for the physical world to be connected to the digital world, a new approach for powering devices is required. Traditionally we power devices by bringing energy to them. We do this in the form of batteries and cables, which can be expensive and unpractical. However, at the incredible scale of a connected world, this approach has become a limiting factor. Instead of bringing energy, Nowi aims to enable products to use the energy that is already available at its location.

Nowi NH2 PMIC is designed to efficiently extract power from ambient energy sources like light and vibration to charge a variety of energy storage elements such as a rechargeable battery or a super-capacitor. It is best suited for most low power applications like distributed IoT sensors, electronic shelf labels, TV remote controls, smart wearables etc.

 

What kind of ROI does your solution offer to customers?

The NH2 is a small, simple, cost-effective and sustainable energy harvesting solution.

- A reduced BOM and assembly size lowering the cost of implementation

- An unprecedented ease-of-use (unique MPPT feature and simple PCB design) allowing time-efficiency for engineers

- A sustainable alternative, thanks to an extended or unlimited battery lifetime, attracting environmentally-friendly companies or consumers

 

What is the most important thing in using Sigfox 0G network?

The low power consumption of Sigfox makes it particularly well suited to be powered by ambient energy harvesting. As many Sigfox-based applications require intermittent communication intervals, it allows for trickle charging a storage element with energy harvesting in between transmissions. We see an especially strong interest for so called ‘Plug & Forget’ designs in asset tracking and smart metering products as they then no longer require any battery maintenance for the duration of the product life.

 

What's next for Nowi?

Nowi’s vision is to enable connecting the physical world to the digital world by removing the power bottleneck of having to swap batteries. With the NH2 energy harvesting PMIC in mass production a big step towards that goal has been taken. Building a product that improves size, cost and performance is not enough. We have to make it extremely simple and easy to use. As such, we strongly believe in partnering with other vendors in the ecosystem and offering joint-reference designs and support. This further simplifies the design-in process for low power connected product and speeds up the development time. Throughout 2021 Nowi will be expanding on our partnerships.