For energy-neutral operation (ENO) of wireless sensor networks (WSNs), we apply a wireless powered communication network (WPCN) to a WSN with a hierarchical structure. In this hierarchical wireless powered sensor network (WPSN), sensor nodes with high harvesting energies and good link budgets have energy remaining after sending their data to the cluster head (CH), whereas the CH suffers from energy scarcity. Thus, we apply the simultaneous wireless information and power transfer (SWIPT) technique to the considered WPSN so that the sensor nodes can transfer their remaining energy to the CH while transmitting data in a cooperative manner. To maximize the achievable rate of sensing data while guaranteeing ENO, we propose a novel ENO framework, which provides a frame structure for SWIPT operation, rate improvement subject to ENO, SWIPT ratio optimization, as well as clustering and CH selection algorithm. The results of extensive simulations demonstrate that the proposed ENO based on SWIPT significantly improves the achievable rate and reduces the energy dissipated in the network while guaranteeing ENO, in comparison with the conventional schemes without SWIPT.
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