Powercast Joins RAIN Alliance Sustainability Working Group, Explains RF Wireless Power’s Role in Sustainable RAIN RFID Systems

Powercast Corporation, the industry’s one-stop-shop for wireless power, announced it has joined RAIN RFID Alliance’s Sustainability Working Group. This group’s goal is to provide education onhow RAIN RFID technology, already used worldwide for the item tracking necessary in inventory management, stock control, logistics, retail and other applications, can also be an enabler for companies to achieve their sustainability objectives.

What is RAIN RFID? RAIN Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a wireless technology that uses both handheld and fixed ultra-high frequency (UHF) RFID inventory readers that are prevalent in industries around the globe to connect billions of everyday items to the internet. It enables businesses and consumers to identify, locate, authenticate and engage each item bearing an RFID tag or label.

The Sustainability Working Group just published a report, “Bridging the Gap – Connecting Corporate Sustainability with RAIN RFID,” based on a 20-company survey of apparel, automotive, healthcare and other companies. Findings include:

  • Data collected in existing RFID applications can also inform sustainability strategies, and there is evidence this is happening, but more education is needed to bridge RFID systems and sustainability efforts.
  • Many examples of how RFID can help address sustainability challenges already exist, including: 1) achieving inventory accuracy levels that reduce waste and keep excess goods out of landfills, 2) being able to anticipate the lifespan of a product to facilitate recycling and waste management, and 3) collecting environmental data related to CO2 reduction.

“Powercast is committed to initiatives furthering a brighter sustainable future for generations to come, so we’re excited to join like-minded companies in RAIN’s Sustainability Working Group,” said Charles Greene, Ph.D., COO and CTO of Powercast. “Since 2007, our wireless power technologies have enabled untethered devices that need no battery maintenance and reduce the e-waste – cables, cords and disposable batteries – that litters landfills.”

Charles Goetz, CEO of Powercast, will explain wireless power’s role in sustainable RAIN RFID systems at the Connections Summit 2024, organized by RAIN RFID Alliance and NFC Forum, in Taichung, Taiwan, from May 13th to 16th.

“Combining RAIN’s identification and communication capabilities with Powercast’s radio frequency (RF) to direct current (DC) conversion technology can create smart, sustainable, maintenance-free device ecosystems able to both recharge and communicate over the air without wires or disposable batteries,” continued Greene.

How Powercast’s Wireless RF Power Technology Combines with RAIN RFID to Add Functionality:

Since UHF RFID readers emit an RF signal that’s similar to that of Powercast’s RF wireless power transmitters, these readers can be a reliable source of wireless power. Powercast’s tiny Powerharvester® PCC110 receiver chip embedded in RFID tags or labels can harvest RF and data sent over the air from any RFID reader – whether it’s fixed infrastructure or a handheld reader used by employees – and convert that RF to usable DC to both power devices and communicate data. Range depends on power consumption level; most devices can function up to 20 feet from a reader, while ultra-low-power devices can work up to 120 feet away. Devices can either be batteryless or rechargeable-battery-based, which eliminates inconvenient and expensive battery replacement efforts and keeps disposable batteries out of landfills.

As examples, a Powerharvester embedded in an electronic paper display (EPD) tag such as a retail electronic shelf-edge label (ESL), or an environmental sensing or logistics tag can harvest RF when it comes within range of a UHF RFID reader.

Several EPD applications were recently developed using partner E Ink’s bi-stable digital ePaper screen that can maintain an image perpetually, without a constant power source, until another over-the-air wireless update is sent. These EPDs include a wireless electronic bag tag, which harvests RF from airport RFID equipment to refresh the passenger’s itinerary on the screen; and Powercast’s own batteryless ESL which enables over-the-air retail price updates.

Other RFID over-the-air wireless power applications include environmental monitoring, such as Powercast’s RFID Sensor Tags which measure temperature, light and humidity; logistics and advanced location tracking devices; and sensing devices on products such as tires.

Powercast’s Energy-Saving, Sustainable Building Automation Technology Receives Smart Buildings Innovation Award

The Wireless 25-Year Maintenance-Free Building Automation Sensor and Controller Technology for HVAC, Lighting Saves Substantial Energy, Costs 40% Less than Wired Systems, Eliminates Battery Maintenance and Reduces Battery E-Waste

Powercast announced that its Wireless 25-Year Maintenance-Free Building Automation Sensor and Controller Technology for HVAC and Lighting Systems has received an  IoT Evolution Smart Buildings Innovation Award from IoT Evolution World. These awards acknowledge the companies behind the innovations transforming the way we design, construct, operate, and inhabit buildings.

Powercast’s sustainable building automation technology features revolutionary Lifetime Power® battery-powered sensors that last 25 years to provide wireless, maintenance-free, advanced HVAC and lighting control:

  • The wirelessly-controllable lighting technology achieves substantial energy savings because it can harvest and efficiently use daylight energy, auto dim, and turn off lights when motion sensors detect no occupants.
  • The HVAC system monitors environmental conditions including temperature, humidity, light, C02, differential pressure, contact closure, and more.

Such advanced environmental monitoring allows companies to embrace green initiatives, achieve LEED certification, adhere to regulatory requirements, and achieve significant cost savings through automation which can uncover patterns and insights to further optimize energy efficiency and identify potential issues before they arise.

“In an industry where most Building Automation Systems’ (BAS) batteries last 7-10 years, Powercast’s battery-powered sensors instead last 25 years for a lifetime sensing and environmentally-friendly solution, eliminating both the hassle and expense of battery maintenance, and reducing disposable battery e-waste that also keeps toxins out of landfills,” said Charles Greene, PhD, COO and CTO of Powercast.

Additional savings come from the wirelessly-powered sensors themselves. Companies don’t have to plan for building wiring or pay electrical labor to run wires. Without wires or battery maintenance, users can install more sensors to increase data for optimizing energy savings and comfort.

“We estimate our wirelessly-powered sensor system can save users 40%-50% over the installed cost of wired sensor and controller building automation systems, while also making a positive impact on the environment,” continued Greene. “The system is simple, intuitive and effective.”

“It is my pleasure to recognize the 25-Year Maintenance-Free Building Automation Sensor and Controller Technology for HVAC and Lighting Systems, an innovative solution that earned Powercast an IoT Evolution Smart Buildings Innovation Award,” said Rich Tehrani, CEO, TMC (co-publishers of IoT Evolution).

Powercast developed these systems both independently and in collaboration with partners, and they are covered by over 50 patents.  The Powercast Lifetime Power technology is available through partnership to develop similar or new innovative products that create smart wireless solutions for sustainable applications.

Powercast Named a 2024 Best Place to Work

Powercast was chosen based on employee questionnaires that recognized the company’s intertwining environment, culture, and support of its employees in everything they do, from how they interact with clients, to the sustainable wireless power solutions that they work to provide the world.

Powercast has been named a 2024 Best Place to Work by Business Intelligence Group. This prestigious award highlights the company’s unwavering commitment to cultivating a workplace culture that prioritizes employee well-being, growth, and satisfaction.

Powercast was chosen based on employee questionnaires that recognized the company’s intertwining environment, culture, and support of its employees in everything they do, from how they interact with clients, to the sustainable wireless power solutions that they work to provide the world.

“We are honored to receive the Best Place to Work award,” said Charles Greene, Chief Operating & Technical Officer. “At Powercast, we recognize that our employees are our greatest asset, and this recognition is a reflection of their hard work, dedication, and commitment to Powercast’s shared values. We strive to create a positive workplace culture and believe it is the foundation for success, and we are proud to provide our employees an environment where they are encouraged to grow, innovate, and thrive.”

Greene continued, “One of the most important values at Powercast is the ability to offer our employees work-life balance and flexibility. We recognize the importance of supporting employees in both their professional and personal lives, and prioritize employee satisfaction and well-being. As Powercast celebrates this achievement, we remain committed to upholding our core values and providing a culture that recognizes and rewards outstanding contributions while we continue to build a team with an outstanding track record of success.”

 

Powercast Demonstrates Broad Applications of Wireless Power at CES 2024, Powering Environmentally-Friendly Products Short to Long Range & Microwatts to Kilowatts

Industry leader in far-field, over-the-air RF charging can now power products over entire spectrum of wireless power after expanding portfolio with near-field, contact-based inductive charging via partnership with Powermat.

 Powercast, the industry’s complete solution for wireless power, providing short to long range and microwatts to kilowatts, will demonstrate at CES 2024, booth #51516, the breadth of solutions it can provide via its expanded portfolio. Powercast expanded its portfolio via a partnership with Powermat in 2023 to add Powermat’s short-range, high-power SmartInductiveTM hybrid inductive/resonance technology, best known for the smartphone charging surfaces deployed worldwide in cars and coffee shops, to its own award-winning long-distance, low-power radio-frequency (RF) technology.

Google Home

These two pioneers of wireless power partnered to create one team that can implement sustainable, environmentally-friendly products across the entire spectrum of wireless power that can save manufacturers time and money, and cut wires and batteries to eliminate clutter and curtail e-waste, saving hundreds of millions of batteries from landfills.

“We’ve had a record year and with the addition of Powermat’s SmartInductive technology, we’re prepared to meet growing demand for both the near and far-field segments of the wireless power market, which Research and Markets expects to reach $45.3 billion by 2030,” said Charles Greene, PhD, COO and CTO of Powercast. “The partnership has created a cohesive entity that saves customers from having to research power solutions, because no matter the application, our team can apply the best solution. Our expert engineering team can also support customers from concept to prototyping to production as needed. We are truly a wireless power one-stop-shop, which is a first-of-its kind convenience for customers.”

Wireless charger demos will include those featuring RF, SmartInductive and the technologies combined:

Through the Table SmartInductive Charger

  • Ubiquity RF chargers, designed to be the industry’s most economical RF chargers.
  • SmartInductive “through-the-table” chargers that line up above/below and charge through a table up to 1.5 inches thick – no cutting or wires required.
  • A dual-technology RF/SmartInductive charger jointly developed by Powercast and Powermat designed to charge phones placed directly on it, and RF-enabled devices placed near it. The range for over-the-air RF charging is about one to 15 feet, but ultra-low-power devices like sensors can charge up to 120 feet away.
  • A retrofitted Google Home Nest that now also transmits RF power, demonstrating Powercast’s drop-in Ubiquity module that lets manufacturers easily embed RF charging into their own devices for only a $5 bill-of-materials (BOM) cost.

Wireless products that these transmitters can charge will also be demonstrated:

  • A retrofitted DeWalt power drill that recharges on a SmartInductive charging surface.
  • The Dolphin Liberty cordless pool cleaning robot featuring SmartInductive, a technology that’s capable of underwater charging.

    Drill

  • A retrofitted Arlo security camera installed outside a home that recharges through the wall from an RF transmitter inside the home – eliminating the need to hire technicians and drill holes/run wires outside.
  • A demo combining two small-form-factor technologies – Nichicon’s rechargeable batteries and Powercast’s PCC110 RF Powerharvester® chip – to create rechargeable, space-constrained devices such as styluses, medical devices and IoT sensors.

    Arlo Camera

  • And many other products including a keyboard and mouse, TV remote, charging grip for the Nintendo Joy-Cons, home security and IoT sensors, door lock, digital luggage tag, smart product packaging, and even Smartballs with sensors to deliver analytics for sports like cricket or football.

Optimized for different applications, Powercast’s and Powermat’s technologies differ in strength and transfer distance, and together cover the entire spectrum of wireless power:

  • Powercast’s RF transmitters/receivers can transfer power up to 120 feet, but deliver lower levels: 100s of milliwatts to single-digit microwatts. This technology is suited for one-to-many charging of low-power devices, like IoT security and home automation sensors in remote locations where wiring/battery replacement is inconvenient or prohibitive, and other consumer devices like game controllers, wearables, headphones and other hearables, keyboards and mice, TV remotes and more.

    TV Remote Control

  • Powermat’s SmartInductive transmitting/receiving coils charge one product at a time and must closely align – within 8 inches – but can transfer more power: 5 watts for consumer-grade applications to 600 watts for industrial-grade ones like telecom, robotics, micro-mobility, medical and underwater charging.

Greene explained, “Our vision is a world where power is ubiquitous, sustainable, wire-free, and seamlessly accessible. Our ultimate goal is true wireless freedom through an ecosystem of connected transmitters and receivers, both in the public and private domains, which provide people, products and machines the ability to move around freely with seamless access to power.”

Nichicon Stylus

Discover a ground-breaking wireless technology interview with Charlie Greene in Easy Engineering Magazine

Powercast’s Charlie Greene is pleased to be featured in Easy Engineering Magazine, discussing our wireless power products, new technology, market trends, and more! Check out the article here: https://easyengineering.eu/powercast-wireless-power-for…/

Powercast & Nichicon Integrate RF Charging with Small Li-Ion Battery in Demo of Wireless Charging for Small Devices

Nichicon Stylus

Powercast, the one-stop-shop for all things wireless power, and Nichicon, a world leader in manufacturing electronic components, are collaborating to add radio frequency (RF) charging capabilities to Nichicon’s new Small Lithium Titanate Oxide (LTO) Rechargeable Batteries (SLBs).

To demonstrate how to design small, sustainable, rechargeable-battery-based devices that can reduce both disposable battery e-waste and expensive battery maintenance, the companies paired Powercast’s over-the-air RF wireless charging technology with Nichicon’s SLB, which together can fit into small devices such styluses, wireless thermometers, medical devices and IoT sensors.

The companies created a stylus demo, which Nichicon will debut at the 2023 Arrow Technology Expo in Chicago on October 26th at the Stonegate Conference & Banquet Center.

In the slim stylus demo, Powercast’s tiny receiving antenna and Powerharvester PCC110 RF-to-DC converter chip embedded in the stylus harvests RF sent over the air from Powercast’s Ubiquity transmitter, converting it to DC to wirelessly recharge Nichicon’s embedded SLB04255L040 battery. The battery then powers the flashlight LED at the end of the stylus, with RF technology recharging the battery when it’s not in use.

“Wirelessly-powered, sustainable devices help solve the environmental problem of disposable batteries that litter landfills and release toxins, and the inconvenience and expense of battery replacement,” said Charles Greene, PhD, COO and CTO of Powercast. “We are teaming with Nichicon, whose long-life rechargeable batteries can store the energy generated by Powercast Technology and repeatedly discharge it over and over as needed.”

“This collaborative effort allows companies to develop environmentally-friendly, small consumer and IoT devices that eliminate disposable batteries,” said Craig Anderson, President of Nichicon America. “Our vision is to make IoT and consumer device ecosystems more sustainable now and into the future.”

About Powercast:

Powercast Corporation is the one-stop-shop for all things wireless power, short to long range and microwatts to kilowatts, with the industry’s broadest technology offering covered by over 300 patents worldwide. Since founding in 2003, Powercast has led the industry in RF wireless power innovations that meet FCC and other global standards, and recently added inductive/resonant solutions to its product portfolio after forging a partnership with Powermat. Powercast’s technologies eliminate or reduce the need for wires and batteries, curtailing waste in our landfills. Our collaborative approach and expertise in all wireless aspects, from concept and design through prototyping and mass production, has resulted in many applications, extensive commercial success in both industrial and consumer applications, and over 20 million units shipped.

About Nichicon:

Nichicon Corporation, established in 1950, is a prominent Japanese company specializing in electrical components. Since then, Nichicon has grown into one of the world’s leading capacitor manufacturers, renowned for its high-quality products and innovative technologies. The company’s extensive product portfolio encompasses various types of capacitors, including aluminum electrolytic capacitors, film capacitors, and electric double-layer capacitors. Recently, Nichicon introduced its first battery project, the new Nichicon SLB battery. One of Nichicon’s main goals is to promote the SLB in IoT ecosystems as a new and innovative alternative to traditional power sources. www.nichiconbattery.com

Wireless Powerhouse Partners Powercast & Powermat Win Sustainability Award

The companies’ combined wireless power technologies reduce emissions and battery and cable e-waste, and optimize water conservation and farming operations

Powercast and Powermat proudly announce that their wireless power partnership was awarded Sustainability Initiative of the Year in Business Intelligence Group’s 2023 Sustainability Awards program, for the companies’ joint efforts to promote sustainability through wireless power.

The two pioneers of wireless power — Powercast with long-range, over-the-air RF technology, and Powermat who brought short-range Inductive charging to smartphones, cars and coffee shops — recently partnered creating one team that can implement sustainable and environmentally-friendly designs across the entire spectrum of wireless power, short to long range and microwatts up to 600 watts.

The companies’ combined wireless power technologies improve sustainability in multiple ways.  They:

  • Reduce the e-waste that litters landfills with wirelessly-powered, untethered devices that eliminate cords, cables, and single-use disposable batteries because they use rechargeable batteries or none at all.
  • Reduce emissions with wireless charging of otherwise gas-powered EVs.
  • Optimize efficiency of water treatment and conservation operations with underwater charging of water pumps, filters, and vacuums, eliminating wires under water.
  • Optimize efficiency of smart farming with wirelessly-powered drones, robotics and EVs that cut the cords, reduce emissions and conserve energy.

“This partnership saves customers from having to research which power solution is the best fit. Now, no matter the application, this cohesive entity can make sure the best solution is applied. In addition, this alliance provides full engineering and design support across the entire spectrum, from concept to prototyping, all the way to production and delivery of end product if needed. We are a wirelesspower one-stop-shop, regardless of application,” said Charles Goetz, CEO of Powercast. “This is a first-of-its kind convenience for our customers.”

“As partners, we believe wireless charging of otherwise gas-powered EVs is a key to reducing emissions and conserving energy,” said Kfir Abuhatzira, Powermat’s CEO. “Wireless charging can also make a huge environmental impact by reducing e-waste, saving hundreds of millions of batteries and cables from ending up in our landfills.”

Optimized for different applications, the companies’ technologies differ in strength/transfer distance, and together cover the entire spectrum of wireless power: Powercast’s RF transmitters and receivers can transfer power over distances up to 120 feet, but deliver low power levels. This technology is designed for one-to-many charging of low-power consumer and industrial devices in hard-to-reach locations where wiring/battery replacement is prohibitive, like IoT sensor networks. Additional devices include home-automation sensor networks, TV remotes, electric toothbrushes, headphones and more.

  • On the other hand, Powermat’s SmartInductive transmitters and receivers must closely align–within 8 inches–but can transfer more power (5 to 600 watts) for industrial-grade applications like telecom, robotics, micro-mobility, medical devices, and underwater charging.

Powercast and Powermat share a vision of a 100% wireless future, where people and machines enjoy 100% freedom from traditional wall-tethered power transfer methods.

The ultimate goal is to create true wireless freedom through an ecosystem of connected transmitters and receivers, both in the public and private domain, which provide people, products and machines the ability to move around freely with seamless access to power.

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