As you continue to explore the world of DIY embedded projects, your projects will, without doubt, get increasingly complicated. One side effect of this increased complexity is increased power consumption by peripheral electronics interfaced with a microcontroller, and as a designer, you will often find yourself facing the daunting task of managing power consumption across all your peripherals.
Consider an embedded system project that involves collecting humidity and pressure data in your backyard over the period of a few days. We decide that the design must be battery-powered because we’d like to collect data in one location and then move the device to a different area for some more data collection. Let’s say we calculate the total current drawn by the system to be 100mA. Not so much, right?
But wait! When we look at our typical 9V battery, which will be powering our device, we see that its capacity is only 500mAh. This means that our device can only run for 5 hours! Not so useful after all… This is the kind of scenario where a re-evaluation of sensor choice or even microcontroller choice may be necessary.
Sourcing low-power electronics in times of need can be tiring and frustrating, especially for those new to DIY electronics. In this guide, we’ll first introduce you to electrical power and energy, and will then provide you a list of low-power sensor and peripheral modules that can be used in your projects when energy saving is necessary!