McLaren targets IoT energy harvesting with Sharp and Ilika

December 15, 2016 // By Nick Flaherty
McLaren Applied Technologies and Sharp Laboratories of Europe are working with UK battery maker Ilika to develop an autonomous energy harvesting power source for the Internet of Things (IoT).

A £500,000 grant from Innovate UK will focus on an energy harvesting wireless sensing platform with applications in industries that could include motorsport and automotive along with potentially healthcare and wearables.

Over £320,000 of the Innovate UK grant will be provided to Ilika to lead a two-year project which will see Ilika’s Stereax solid-state battery technology integrated with Sharp’s photovoltaic (PV) technology to provide a power source for McLaren Applied Technologies’ wireless sensing platform.

“We are delighted McLaren Applied Technologies is part of a collaboration to create a next generation autonomous energy harvesting power source. Thanks to funding from Innovate UK, we will be developing sensors for the “Internet of Things” to improve system performance in a wide range of applications across the technology spectrum,” said Dick Glover, Chief Technology Officer at McLaren Applied Technologies, a subsidiary of the racing car developer.

The objective is to develop robust, low maintenance sensor nodes for demanding environments. The power source must be robust, operate at up to 100 °C and be maintenance-free. The target footprint must be small with attractive aesthetics for easy integration into the sensor and its operating environment. It should also have dimensions comparable to the sensor and other electronic elements, but deliver sufficient power to fully operate the sensor.

"Ilika’s Stereax technology is ideal for combining with energy harvesting technologies," said Graeme Purdy, CEO of Ilika. "Solid-state batteries are known for their low leakage currents and their ability to retain their performance over thousands of cycles. These properties make Stereax batteries the ideal technology to integrate with Sharp’s high efficiency PV panels. We expect this development programme to create significant commercial opportunities across multiple sectors."

www.mclaren.com/appliedtechnologies
www.ilika.com