Battery management systems (BMSs) for IoT-connected devices are essential for prolonging the tech’s life and optimising energy efficiency. BMSs monitor and adjust battery usage based on data, making them vital for scalable IoT systems, especially in commercial sectors. If small business owners, marketers or designers employ IoT devices, consider BMSs for additional benefits.
The importance of battery management in IoT Systems
BMSs ensure a rechargeable battery in an IoT device stays healthy. Repeated charging cycles degrade its capacity, charging slower and losing charge faster. Small businesses relying on commercial IoT to give them analytics about environmental usage, customer behaviours or financial trends want batteries to thrive for as long as possible.
Other features of BMSs include:
- Preventing overheating
- Eliminating overcharging
- Discharging tech from charging stations safely
- Notifications of charging speed
- Distributing voltage to cells evenly
- Information about current battery health
IoT systems require copious amounts of energy for their myriad uses and 24/7 data collection cycles. Earth will power 75 billion IoT devices by 2025, reinforcing a need to make them run for as long as possible to avoid overconsumption and unnecessary toxic battery garbage and e-waste. The number will only grow exponentially as SMBs undergo digital transformation as much as Fortune 500 companies.
Nobody is immune to the benefits of IoT. Battery management will provide the foundation for these systems. Inefficient battery management results in company losses in every budgetary category, from labour costs for training new methods to new IoT devices. What benefits will SMBs and marketers garner with smart battery oversight?
1. Enhanced lifecycle of batteries
SMBs hook up tablets, payment systems, company phones and laptops into outlets nightly, even if they are not less than 10% battery. Staying aware of battery life is just as crucial for IoT security cameras or thermostats. Charging rechargeable batteries when not needed decreases their longevity by reducing their ability to stay charged for extended periods.
BMSs curb degradation related to excessive charging by leveraging the data they collect from the IoT batteries. The combination prolongs battery life, acting as a form of predictive maintenance.
2. Increased operational efficiency and performance
An IoT device operates more smoothly when a BMS regulates its battery usage. Battery oversight mitigates sluggish and laggy performance concerns. The BMS improves productivty in two regards because increasing operational efficiency is a two-way street — the BMS maintains the battery while providing insight so SMBs may adjust their tech usage habits.
A BMS assists performance significantly, but battery health is a result of behaviours. Are businesses leaving screens idle for long periods? How high are sound settings or screen brightness, pushing its limits in thermal management and power consumption? Are workers using it as a hotspot when internet is available?
BMSs have the power to notify users people are drawing the most power. The number only changes with workers adjusting their interactions with IoT devices to be more conscious of battery health instead of convenience and usability.
3. Environmental sustainability
E-waste is pervasive, and many tech items in landfills could have been saved with battery health cheques or replacements. Using BMSs changes perspectives on how humans dispose of technology. Corporations have rewritten consumer expectations because of planned obsolescence.
Even if a device is working well, customers want to upgrade to the next model because of what marketing promises them — greater innovation or a more streamlined life. In reality, the planet cannot handle the constant influx of tech devices in the trash. BMSs adjust mindsets. They take battery health back into customers’ hands to reduce waste and encourage repairs instead of purchasing new units.
Additionally, using BMSs encourages eco-friendly IoT systems to continue improving the planet. IoT monitors everything from carbon footprints to air quality and solar panel operations. Businesses converting to environmentally conscious models need IoT, and to keep that alive and well, they will need long-lasting batteries and attentive oversight.
Reducing the number of upgrades a business makes also reduces unnecessary expenses. SMBs must overhaul budgets to justify tech-forward IoT devices, so any cost-saving opportunity is welcome. BMSs decrease tech expenses by keeping devices in-house longer, remaining productive and operational as long as possible.
Battery management also reduces other costs indirectly. When staff have to charge a business-critical device, it results in downtime or wasted labour costs. Operational efficiency takes a nose dive if a tool is at 20% battery, yet it randomly shuts down the second it hits 19%.
5. Improved safety
Faulty or dying batteries pose safety risks for people operating IoT. Bad batteries cause burns or exposure to toxic chemicals, forcing SMBs to waste money on worker’s compensation claims in addition to tech replacements. BMSs diagnose suspected risks before they happen based on data-driven determinations. It prevents incidents in the workplace, keeping staff safe. It is one area where management can remove almost all risks.
Improving safety also protects the environment. Skyrocketing temperatures, short circuits or leaking chemicals can warp wood, corrode metals and worse. Structural damage caused by failing batteries seems inconsequential until it instigates accidents.
Prioritise battery management for IoT devices
SMBs are responsible for solidifying IoT’s usefulness and adoption by using battery management systems. They provide too many benefits to be dismantled by poor battery management. Additionally, SMBs can customise how they want their devices to perform and how aggressively BMSs should save battery health.
However, widespread adoption means more profound research efforts on continuous improvement and spreading education. The more SMBs and marketers know about BMSs as an invaluable resource, the more likely IoT will thrive to help companies worldwide.
Eleanor Hecks is the managing editor at Designerly. She’s also a mobile app designer with a focus on UI. Connect with her about digital marketing, UX and/or tea on LinkedIn.