Sigfox technology has been optimized in every way possible to be power-efficient, to allow devices to operate independently for a number of years without changing the power source. What does this mean for a device maker?
As the Sigfox network does not use a handshake mechanism (or any other type of power-controlling system) within the protocol, Sigfox is one of the only technologies allowing to precisely analyze and predict how much power you will use during your device's battery life.
2) Which type of battery?
Numerous power sources are available on the market, each with their own benefits. Which source to use depends on your use case, as battery capacity can be impacted by a number of parameters.
The questions to answer before choosing are:
- How long is my device supposed to work?
- How many sensors need power while not sending messages?
- What are my constraints in term of design?
- What temperature will be reached?
Once all parameters have been defined, you will be able to choose the most suitable source for your use case.
Warning: Don't undersize your power source! Whilst having the smallest battery on the market could help with the design aspects, it is also important to consider the amount of power needed during transmission while choosing your battery. On average radio solutions consume between 20 and 50 milliampere in TX mode, which has a great impact on battery life. If your use case request very small batteries (like coin cells), special attention needs be paid to this aspect.
3) Radio configuration impact
The various Sigfox Radio Configurations across the globe each use different ways of transmitting data. However, the impact on battery life is minimal if the correct approach is taken.
For exemple, when the speed of transmission is six times higher (in RC2), the power required will be higher during the TX. However, as the time of transmision is six times faster, the impact is minimal on battery consumption in general.
Hence, the target RC has to be considered when designing the board itself, as constraints are a bit different.
4) Radio solutions
Each radio solution (module, System on Chip, transceivers) has its own power consumption, which may vary from one provider to another. You should compare the differences between radio solutions in order to size the battery appropriately. From one module to another, you will see that the power consumption can almost double, depending on the partner.
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