Last Updated on October 22, 2023 by Kevin Chen
Image of IoT source Freepik
Are you building an IoT device or any other connected devices? Power modules should be included among the very basic requirements of your application. These modules are responsible for all the power-related functions in the device. Using the PCB power modules, you will be able to connect your IoT and connected devices to the external power sources.
The modules will also facilitate the distribution of power to different modules in the device. PCB power modules in the IoT also play various protective roles in their respective application areas. In this article, we are going to look at various ways of incorporating PCB power modules into IoT and other connected devices.
Overview of PCB power modules in IoT and connected devices
The Internet of Things (IoT) is among the latest technological revolutions that have taken over the globe. It is mainly characterized by the interconnection between different electronic devices and appliances for communication and exchange of data. This connection is mainly implemented over the internet, though other technologies and networking platforms may be used to facilitate the connections.
IoT devices are embedded with software applications that facilitate the implementation of the data exchange between different devices in open networks. For example, when you have connected your smartphone to your refrigerator, you will use a software application on the phone to send instructions to the refrigerator. Here, the software will provide a user interface to facilitate seamless communication.
IoT and most connected devices also have sensors, which mainly act as data collectors. Sensors are hardware electronic devices that have the capability to collect different types of data such as temperature, humidity, geographical location, and motion among others. They send data to other components for processing and implementation.
All these components or aspects of IoT and connected devices need power. Electric energy is needed for connecting an IoT device to a network. The devices can accept instructions and even process data only in the presence of power. Critical elements such as sensors cannot operate without a power supply. We cannot ignore the roles of other hardware components that make up IoT and other connected devices.
As long as a device or a component will need power, then you should expect to find the relevance and presence of PCB power modules. They ensure that all the power-related functions run smoothly and effectively.
Incorporating PCB power modules into IoT and connected devices
Here are some of the ways in which PCB power modules are incorporated into IoT and other connected devices:
This is among the most common and convenient ways of integrating PCB power modules into IoT devices and connected devices. As the name suggests, it entails onboarding the module directly into the device.
The implementation of this technique starts at the product design phase where product designers have to spare some space for the PCB module integration. The PCB module is then directly soldered onto the surface of the device before being connected to other internal components.
The miniature nature of most PCB power modules makes it easy to implement this form of integration. This is because the modules tend to take very little space so manufacturers will not have a hard time finding sparing an area for the PCB integration. Another advantage of this PCB module integration is it eliminates any possibilities of external interference. This is because the module is enclosed inside the device or application.
External integration of the PCB power modules
This is the opposite of the integration that we have discussed. Here, PCB power modules are integrated into the devices externally. This mode of incorporation is quite common on most portable IoT and connected devices.
With the external integration, you will only need to plug the PCB power module into a device when needed. The modules are built into connectors such as USB devices and other plugs. All the relevant power components are in the connectors, not the device. The design and configuration of the external PCB module should match the power requirement of the device.
Other than portability, external incorporation of the PCB power modules gives room for flexibility. One power module can be used on several devices that have the same configurations.
Some devices and appliances in the IoT ecosystem rely on rechargeable batteries to operate. A battery is charged by an external charger and then it will supply the required charges to the device. For such systems, PBC power modules are directly incorporated into a battery, which is then connected to a device.
Most battery integrations entail connecting PBC power modules to the battery management systems (BMS). The two will work together to ensure that the IoT device works smoothly. The module will control the charging process and even monitor the energy consumption of the device.
Incorporation in the power distribution boards
Most of the integrations that we have discussed are based on the power supply systems of the IoT and connected devices. Since these devices have other electronic components, we should consider how the components get the required current and voltage. This is where the importance of power distribution boards comes in.
PCB power modules are incorporated in these boards to facilitate the even distribution of power within the devices. The modules are connected to the power supply modules from where they draw power and supply to other components of the device. For example, an IoT device may have several sensors with different power requirements. It is the role of the PCB power modules in the distribution board to ensure that each sensor gets the specified current and voltage.
Wireless PCB power module integration
Wireless charging technology is increasingly becoming popular. It allows devices to get charged without being physically connected to electric sockets. PCB power modules in these charging systems have components that make it possible to implement a wireless charging process.
There are different ways of incorporating PCB power modules into IoT and other connected devices. The method used will depend on the application area as well as the system requirements. When buying PCB power modules, find out the mode of integration that they use.
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