BattLab-One Replace Your Battery, And Monitors Your Battery Life
One of the problems developers in the world of IoT devices experience when building battery-powered devices over time is the process of measuring and estimating battery life, which can be very tedious. The process is tedious and cumbersome, with multiple test equipment arrangements to capture current profiles for different firmware states, manual data logging, and spreadsheets for data input and calculations to get to an estimate of battery life for the device under test (DUT). It is also quite hard measuring the amount of energy being consumed by these IoT devices due to the dynamic nature of the current consumption, with conventional measurement methods like multimeter, and oscilloscope having drawbacks. One method developers use is to use multiple instruments and hand calculations to arrive at an estimate of the energy consumption, but this method could be tasking. One device we have seen that solves this problem is the ZS1100A, which functions by plotting the current consumption vs time very accurately and in great detail, which can be used along with the battery model to estimate the overall battery life.
However, Doug Peters has built his own device called the BattLab-One (Battery Laboratory). It is a hardware/software solution that instantly captures insights of your design on battery life. His goal is to deliver a design tool that quickly and effortlessly provides an estimate of battery life and lets him optimize it for his projects, enabling him to spend more time on design and less time on measuring and calculating battery life.
The BattLab-One Hardware functions by replacing the battery of the IoT project with a power supply unit, which enables standard battery voltage output simulation and then uses the built-in current sense technology of the BattLab-One to capture the current consumption profile of your device. By replacing the battery of any battery-powered project with a power supply unit that simulates your battery, the BattLab-One enables you to understand the impact of multiple parameters on your product’s battery life. It helps you to capture both active event and sleep mode current from 10uA to 500mA. It is compatible with MSP430 microcontroller-based device that simulates standard batteries for Li-Ion, LiFePO4, Alkaline, NiMh, NiCd.
The device enables voltages of 1.2V, 1.5V, 2.4V, 3.0V, 3.2, 3.6V, 3.7V, 4.5V at up to 450 mA, and it is perfect for measuring your ESP8266 devices power demands. It has a 1kHz Sample rate, and 16 bit delta-sigma ADC. The device triggers input to capture firmware states and their impact on overall battery life and also offers what-if optimization analysis to improve the design of your project/product. The device also enables you to save profiles so you can compare your DUT current profiles, and offers interactive/detailed active current plot so you can look for anomalies and identify performance improvements for your product or project. To avoid ground loops, USB power, and data isolated from PSU output.
The device is open-source in hardware and software, and you can find documentation on Bluebird Labs website. You can purchase the BattLab-One on Tindie for $99 with enclosure, and for $79 with no enclosure.