The Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) are the basic building blocks of today’s modern internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure in smart buildings, smart parking, and smart cities. The WSN nodes suffer from a major design constraint in that their battery energy is limited and can only work for a few days depending upon the duty cycle of operation. The main contribution of this research article is to propose an efficient solar energy harvesting solution to the limited battery energy problem of WSN nodes by utilizing ambient solar photovoltaic energy. Ideally, the Optimized Solar Energy Harvesting Wireless Sensor Network (SEH-WSN) nodes should operate for an infinite network lifetime (in years). In this paper, we propose a novel and efficient solar energy harvesting system with pulse width modulation (PWM) and maximum power point tracking (MPPT) for WSN nodes. The research focus is to increase the overall harvesting system efficiency, which further depends upon solar panel efficiency, PWM efficiency, and MPPT efficiency. Several models for solar energy harvester system have been designed and iterative simulations were performed in MATLAB/SIMULINK for solar powered DC-DC converters with PWM and MPPT to achieve optimum results. From the simulation results, it is shown that our designed solar energy harvesting system has 87% efficiency using PWM control and 96% efficiency
by using the MPPT control technique. Finally, an experiment for PWM controlled SEH-WSN is performed using Scientech 2311 WSN trainer kit and a Generic LM2575 DC-DC buck converter based solar energy harvesting module for validation of simulation results.
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