Sensors 2008, 8(12), 7690-7714; doi:10.3390/s8127690
Article

Energy Harvesting Chip and the Chip Based Power Supply Development for a Wireless Sensor Network

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Received: 7 November 2008; in revised form: 24 November 2008 / Accepted: 24 November 2008 / Published: 2 December 2008
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: In this study, an energy harvesting chip was developed to scavenge energy from artificial light to charge a wireless sensor node. The chip core is a miniature transformer with a nano-ferrofluid magnetic core. The chip embedded transformer can convert harvested energy from its solar cell to variable voltage output for driving multiple loads. This chip system yields a simple, small, and more importantly, a battery-less power supply solution. The sensor node is equipped with multiple sensors that can be enabled by the energy harvesting power supply to collect information about the human body comfort degree. Compared with lab instruments, the nodes with temperature, humidity and photosensors driven by harvested energy had variation coefficient measurement precision of less than 6% deviation under low environmental light of 240 lux. The thermal comfort was affected by the air speed. A flow sensor equipped on the sensor node was used to detect airflow speed. Due to its high power consumption, this sensor node provided 15% less accuracy than the instruments, but it still can meet the requirement of analysis for predicted mean votes (PMV) measurement. The energy harvesting wireless sensor network (WSN) was deployed in a 24-hour convenience store to detect thermal comfort degree from the air conditioning control. During one year operation, the sensor network powered by the energy harvesting chip retained normal functions to collect the PMV index of the store. According to the one month statistics of communication status, the packet loss rate (PLR) is 2.3%, which is as good as the presented results of those WSNs powered by battery. Referring to the electric power records, almost 54% energy can be saved by the feedback control of an energy harvesting sensor network. These results illustrate that, scavenging energy not only creates a reliable power source for electronic devices, such as wireless sensor nodes, but can also be an energy source by building an energy efficient program.
Keywords: Energy harvesting chip; Nano-ferrofluid magnetic core; Chip embedded transformer; Wireless sensor network (WSN); Packet loss rate (PLR)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lee, D. Energy Harvesting Chip and the Chip Based Power Supply Development for a Wireless Sensor Network. Sensors 2008, 8, 7690-7714.

AMA Style

Lee D. Energy Harvesting Chip and the Chip Based Power Supply Development for a Wireless Sensor Network. Sensors. 2008; 8(12):7690-7714.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lee, Dasheng. 2008. "Energy Harvesting Chip and the Chip Based Power Supply Development for a Wireless Sensor Network." Sensors 8, no. 12: 7690-7714.

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