EH2: Design Considerations for Powering Wireless Sensors with Energy Harvesters
June 26, 2014 | 11:00am - 11:40am
Wireless Sensing Networks are already everywhere around you. Millions of systems are in place measuring everything from freezer temperatures to propane tank levels to the amount of corrosion in oil pipelines. You name the application and there’s probably a WSN already involved in some fashion.
The incredible utility of these systems is certainly old news by now. However, problems still persist. The ever-present limitation for many WSNs is the availability of power. Where can you find the power to source your WSN? How much energy will you need to keep it going? What impact does that power source have on the way the WSN works?
Batteries, the old standby, are good and getting better every year. However, there are still thousands of applications where changing out a battery in your WSN just isn’t an option.
This is where Energy Harvesting comes into its own. EH isn’t quite the proverbial free lunch – but it comes as close as anything in engineering. The elegance and head-slapping simplicity of Energy Harvesting is attractive to anyone who first hears the concept. Who isn’t intrigued by the vision of being able to power your cell phone with piezoelectric generators in your sneakers?
Alas, most of those examples are written for the newspaper audience and have little utility for the working engineer. This tutorial will immediately launch past those extreme examples and provide useful data and techniques for the here and now.
This tutorial will cover how to:
- Characterize/calculate the energy requirements of your WSN device.
- Determine which EH source will work best in the given application
- Determine how much energy the EH device will provide
- Determine how much energy storage is required (if any)
- Characterize the deficiencies of the EH source and its impact on WSN performance and down-time.
The tutorial aims to do this using real numbers measured from real devices – not just abstract concepts and data sheet values alone.
The goal is to come away from this tutorial with a practical grasp of how to:
- Calculate the energy needs of your WSN device.
- Estimate the energy rating of the EH device needed to power it.
- Identify commercial, off-the-shelf devices to convert that EH energy into useful voltage and current for your WSN device.
This activity is sponsored by: