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Sensors 2011, 11(1), 329-340; doi:10.3390/s110100329

A Solar Energy Powered Autonomous Wireless Actuator Node for Irrigation Systems

Research Institute for Integrated Management of Coastal Areas, Universitat Politècnica Valencia, EPSG, C.Paranimf, 1, Gandía, Spain
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Received: 16 November 2010 / Revised: 7 December 2010 / Accepted: 28 December 2010 / Published: 30 December 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors in Agriculture and Forestry)
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Abstract

The design of a fully autonomous and wireless actuator node (“wEcoValve mote”) based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard is presented. The system allows remote control (open/close) of a 3-lead magnetic latch solenoid, commonly used in drip irrigation systems in applications such as agricultural areas, greenhouses, gardens, etc. The very low power consumption of the system in conjunction with the low power consumption of the valve, only when switching positions, allows the system to be solar powered, thus eliminating the need of wires and facilitating its deployment. By using supercapacitors recharged from a specifically designed solar power module, the need to replace batteries is also eliminated and the system is completely autonomous and maintenance free. The “wEcoValve mote” firmware is based on a synchronous protocol that allows a bidirectional communication with a latency optimized for real-time work, with a synchronization time between nodes of 4 s, thus achieving a power consumption average of 2.9 mW.
Keywords: wireless sensor networks; actuator node; autonomous sensor; solar energy; agriculture irrigation systems wireless sensor networks; actuator node; autonomous sensor; solar energy; agriculture irrigation systems
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lajara, R.; Alberola, J.; Pelegrí-Sebastiá, J. A Solar Energy Powered Autonomous Wireless Actuator Node for Irrigation Systems. Sensors 2011, 11, 329-340.

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