The Secret Lives of Miniature Batteries

Sivan Toledo*, Shai Mendel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article describes the design, implementation, and use of a new system to investigate the behavior of small batteries that power sensor and wireless systems that consume relatively high power during infrequent short activity periods. The system enables simple, low-cost, long-term (days to weeks) monitoring of batteries under such loads. Data collected by this system revealed a major cause of failures in wildlife tracking tags, an effect called concentration polarization, which causes a transient increase in the internal resistance of the battery. The article describes the goals and the design of the system, failures that it revealed, mechanisms to mitigate the limitations of miniature batteries, as well as a methodology to optimize and validate the design of tags powered by miniature batteries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number748
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2024


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation


    • asset tracking tags
    • batteries
    • concentration polarization
    • current limiting
    • implantable, ingestible, injectable devices
    • internal resistance
    • reservoir capacitor
    • wildlife tracking tags


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