Wireless Applications

Powering Wireless Sensor Systems

April 9, 2008

Research and Markets reports on energy harvesting, micro batteries, and power management integrated circuits.


DUBLIN, Ireland /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of "Energy Harvesting, Micro Batteries and Power Management ICs series: Worldwide Forecasts" to its offering.

As an emerging market, the ultra-low-power, wireless sensor system market is defined in many different ways. Applications, power levels, architectures, and technologies vary widely, making forecasts difficult. Some applications use single sensor units; others employ large wireless mesh networks. Powering can be wired or wireless; active or passive; battery backup or battery-less. Power levels vary from <1 mW to 1 W or above.

Wireless sensor devices package together a circuit board with networking and application software. Interfaces to sensors can detect changes in temperature, pressure, moisture, light, sound, or magnetism. A wireless radio can report on these findings, usually powered by batteries. Sensor networks can include 10 to 100,000 nodes, and scalability can be a problem. Node position may not be predetermined. The lifetime of a sensor network depends on the battery lifetime, and relocating and recharging a large number of sensing nodes is difficult

Energy harvesting has been proposed as a way of addressing some of these problems. In terms of a forecast, however, these kinds of technologies are also emerging and further complicate the industry landscape. For manufacturers of energy harvesting modules, micro batteries, and power management ICs, the potential opportunities are considerable but still uncertain.

This report defines and forecasts five wireless sensor system markets by application, power levels, micro batteries, energy harvesting, and regulators. Because this report focuses on energy harvesting, the forecasts begin at the "served available market" level, not the total available market. The latter would include wired sensor networks and applications not considered good opportunities for energy harvesting. All the applications included in this report have been filtered with energy harvesting opportunities in mind.

Our forecast assumptions are included at the beginning of each section. Four regions are analyzed: worldwide, North America, Europe, and Asia. Energy harvesting is expected to have some distinct trends geographically, and these are noted where appropriate.


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