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Indoor Solar Development Kit with Nordic BLE

PowerFilm's indoor solar development kit with Nordic BLE works out of the box and can operate at extremely low light levels

Image of PowerFilm's Indoor Solar Development Kit with Nordic BLE PowerFilm's indoor solar development kit with Nordic BLE (DEV-IN-BLE-NS) is perfect for developers looking to design or add PowerFilm's high-performance indoor solar to BLE products.

The kit works out of the box and can operate at extremely low light levels down to 200 lux and below. It includes an onboard energy harvester/power management IC, BLE circuitry, indoor solar panels, and all required components to be plug and play. It also includes a custom onboard capacitor charger (cap-charger), enabling operation without a storage element.

This development kit is fully compatible with Nordic's development tools and connects to the simulated heart rate sensor demo in the nRF Toolbox mobile app.

Development Kit Layout

Image of PowerFilm's Indoor Solar Development Kit Layout

nRF52832 Nordic BLE Module

Fully functional BLE module configured for ultra-low power operation. It connects to iOS and Android™ devices through Nordic's heart rate sensor example in the nRF Toolbox mobile App.

  • iOS and Android connectivity
  • IO break-out connectors for additional sensors or components
  • Segger Embedded Studio project solution files
  • Small footprint with compact meandering antenna design

Energy Harvesting Modules

The indoor solar development kit with Nordic BLE comes with the two charging circuits detailed below. The first is a custom battery-free cap-charger and the second implements TI's BQ25570 energy harvesting/power management IC and is identical to the indoor solar development kit. The desired charging circuit can be chosen with jumper J1.

Cap-Charger

This custom circuit allows the indoor solar development kit with Nordic BLE to operate without a storage element connected; instead, it uses two 220 µF surface mount capacitors.

  • Up to 2x performance vs standard energy harvesting IC solutions
  • Rapid charging during initial off state (0 to 2 V)
  • Low voltage load disconnect with hysteresis and high voltage charge termination
  • Low cost and small footprint

BQ25570 Energy Harvesting and Power Management IC

This module is identical to the indoor solar development kit. The BQ25570 IC uses nano-power boost charging technology to efficiently extract energy from the indoor solar, while the integrated power management can be configured to charge a connected storage element, such as a rechargeable Li-ion battery, and also provides a power output to connect external electronics.

  • Maximum power point tracking (MPPT) input with low voltage boost converter
  • Integrated battery charger (default 4.2 V Li-ion) with low voltage load disconnect and high voltage charge termination
  • Regulated power output (default 3 V)

What Is Included?

Everything needed to begin developing an indoor solar-powered BLE device.

  • DEV-IN-BLE-NS circuit board assembly
  • Two LL200-3.6-75 high performance indoor solar panels with leads
  • 40 mAh rechargeable Li-poly battery
  • Instructions, hardware and software files, and other documentation

Use Cases

Wireless connectivity is now standard in modern electronics and the growing IoT and sensing industries. Many applications in this area are very low power and can run completely off a solar energy harvesting solution.

Examples of Low Power Sensors
  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Pressure
  • Light level
  • Vibration
  • Motion
  • Acoustic
  • Airflow
  • Water flow
  • Strain
  • Moisture
  • Air quality
  • Occupancy
  • Acceleration
  • Water level
Examples of Low Power IoT Applications
  • Home automation
  • Wearables
  • Smart buildings
  • Smart cities
  • Smart agriculture
  • Wireless nodes
  • Asset tracking
  • Smart transportation
  • Gateways
  • Beacons
  • Equipment monitoring
  • Industrial automation

Indoor Solar Development Kit with Nordic BLE

ImageManufacturer Part NumberDescriptionTypeFunctionUtilized IC / PartAvailable QuantityView Details
INDOOR SOLAR DEV KIT NORDIC BLEDEV-IN-BLE-NSINDOOR SOLAR DEV KIT NORDIC BLEPower ManagementEnergy Harvesting and StorageBQ25570, LL200-3.6-75, nRF528326 - ImmediateView Details
Published: 2020-04-30