Low power electronics

Portable equipment runs almost always from batteries. As the environment is a major concern, we rather choose rechargeable batteries than disposable batteries. Even though disposable batteries are cheaper to buy.

A battery can store a certain amount of energy, expressed in Ampere hours or Ah. You can draw a current of 1 Ampere during 1 hour from a 1 Ah battery. And then it is empty. When the current is 0,1 A, the battery charge will last 10 hours. So the lower the current, the longer you can enjoy a battery charge before it needs recharging. Quite logical, ins’t it ?

It is our challenge to design battery powered equipment as low power as possible, to ensure a battery charge will last long. Such a design is an artform in itself because low power components perform less on other specifications. They respond slower for instance. The trick is to find the right balance between current consumption and the other specifications and requirements that such a component must meet in a design.

To get the picture, we developed a battery powered instrument that consumes 20 µA (twenty millionth of an Ampere) during standby and 2 mA (2 thousandth of an Ampere) during operation. The battery capacity is 150 mAh, so during operation a battery charge will last 75 hours, while the standby time is 300 days.

Another product group that needs low power electronics is industrial two-wire transmitters. These instruments consume a current between 4 and 20 mA to indicate it’s measurement value. This means that the instrument itself must consume less than 4 mA. So in this situatien too low current consumption is a major issue.

Does your product have high demands for a low current consumption ? Please let us know, we like to help to find a solution.