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Special Issue "Energy Harvesting Sensor Systems"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Sensor Networks".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Sebastian Bader

Department of Electronics Design, Mid Sweden University, 85170 Sundsvall, Sweden
Website | E-Mail
Interests: energy harvesting; low-power embedded systems; sensor systems; sensor networks; autonomous systems; system modeling
Guest Editor
Dr. Alex Weddell

School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom
Website | E-Mail
Interests: energy harvesting; intermittent computing; condition monitoring; sensor systems; system design; system modeling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Autonomous sensor systems and networks are predicted to become integral technologies in a wide area of applications, ranging from industrial automation to structural monitoring and smart cities. In many of these applications, the system needs to operate for long periods of time without access to a fixed power supply. With considerable maintenance, a high strain on the environment and strict limitations on operating conditions, existing battery technologies are not a desirable option in the long term.

Energy harvesting has become a competitive alternative for the supply of low-power electronic systems, utilizing ambient energy sources in the form of kinetic movements, thermal gradients or electromagnetic radiation. A number of commercial products are now available, but significant challenges still exist throughout the field: from more efficient or robust energy harvesters, through to the effective design and integration of systems, to the functionality of energy harvesting-powered applications.

In this Special Issue, we invite you to submit contributions covering any area of energy harvesting for sensor systems. This includes transducer design and optimization; system design, modeling and integration; as well as experimental verifications, case studies and field tests. Contributions supported by experimental results are particularly welcomed.

Dr. Sebastian Bader
Dr. Alex Weddell
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access bimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Energy harvesting transducers (e.g., photovoltaic, electromagnetic, piezoelectric, thermoelectric, triboelectric)
  • Novel energy storage technologies 
  • Lifetime considerations for energy harvesting sensor systems 
  • Reliable and robust energy harvesting system design 
  • System integration, sizing of energy harvesting and storage devices, automated design tools 
  • Surveys or evaluations of feasibility of energy harvesting in real applications 
  • Comparison and standardized evaluation of energy harvester performance 
  • Self-powered systems and autonomous sensors 
  • Sensor systems and networks, including wake-up radios and low-power communications 
  • Energy-neutral or power-neutral systems 
  • Transient or intermittent computing 
  • Energy harvesting for the Internet of Things

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Efficient Location Service for a Mobile Sink in Solar-Powered Wireless Sensor Networks
Sensors 2019, 19(2), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19020272
Received: 9 December 2018 / Revised: 5 January 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 11 January 2019
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Abstract
By utilizing mobile sinks in wireless sensor networks (WSNs), WSNs can be deployed in more challenging environments that cannot connect with the Internet, such as those that are isolated or dangerous, and can also achieve a balanced energy consumption among sensors which leads
[...] Read more.
By utilizing mobile sinks in wireless sensor networks (WSNs), WSNs can be deployed in more challenging environments that cannot connect with the Internet, such as those that are isolated or dangerous, and can also achieve a balanced energy consumption among sensors which leads to prolonging the network lifetime. However, an additional overhead is required to check the current location of the sink in order for a node to transmit data to the mobile sink, and the size of the overhead is proportional to that of the network. Meanwhile, WSNs composed of solar-powered nodes have recently been actively studied for the perpetual operation of a network. This study addresses both of these research topics simultaneously, and proposes a method to support an efficient location service for a mobile sink utilizing the surplus energy of a solar-powered WSN. In this scheme, nodes that have a sufficient energy budget can constitute rings, and the nodes belonging to these rings (which are called ring nodes) maintain up-to-date location information on the mobile sink node and serve this information to the other sensor nodes. Because each ring node only uses surplus energy to serve location information, this does not affect the performance of a node’s general operations (e.g., sensing, processing, and data delivery). Moreover, because multiple rings can exist simultaneously in the proposed scheme, the overhead for acquiring the position information of the sink can be significantly reduced, and also hardly increases even if the network size becomes larger. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Harvesting Sensor Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Distributed Optimal Random Access Scheme for Energy Harvesting Devices in Satellite Communication Networks
Sensors 2019, 19(1), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19010099
Received: 13 September 2018 / Revised: 14 December 2018 / Accepted: 22 December 2018 / Published: 28 December 2018
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Abstract
This paper considers satellite communication networks where each satellite terminal is equipped with energy harvesting (EH) devices to supply energy continuously, and randomly transmits bursty packets to a geostationary satellite over a shared wireless channel. Packet replicas combined with a successive iteration cancellation
[...] Read more.
This paper considers satellite communication networks where each satellite terminal is equipped with energy harvesting (EH) devices to supply energy continuously, and randomly transmits bursty packets to a geostationary satellite over a shared wireless channel. Packet replicas combined with a successive iteration cancellation scheme can reduce the negative impact of packet collisions but consume more energy. Hence, appropriate energy management policies are required to mitigate the adverse effect of energy outages. Although centralized access schemes can provide better performance on the networks’ throughput, they expend extra signallings to allocate the resources, which leads to non-negligible communication latencies, especially for the satellite communication networks. In order to reduce the communication overhead and delay, a distributed random access (RA) scheme considering the energy constraints is studied. Each EH satellite terminal (EH-ST) decides whether to transmit the packet and how many replicas are transmitted according to its local energy and EH rates to maximize the average long-term network throughput. Owing to the nonconvexity of this problem, we adopted a game theoretic method to approximate the optimal solution. By forcing all the EH-STs to employ the same policy, we characterized and proved the existence and uniqueness of the symmetric Nash equilibrium (NE) of the game. Moreover, an efficient algorithm is proposed to calculate the symmetric NE by combining a policy iteration algorithm and the bisection method. The performance of the proposed RA scheme was investigated via numerous simulations. Simulation results showed that the proposed RA scheme is applicable to the EH devices in the future low-cost interactive satellite communication system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Harvesting Sensor Systems)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Energy Harvesting Technologies for Achieving Self-Powered Wireless Sensor Networks in Machine Condition Monitoring: A Review
Sensors 2018, 18(12), 4113; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18124113
Received: 3 October 2018 / Revised: 17 November 2018 / Accepted: 19 November 2018 / Published: 23 November 2018
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Abstract
Condition monitoring can reduce machine breakdown losses, increase productivity and operation safety, and therefore deliver significant benefits to many industries. The emergence of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) with smart processing ability play an ever-growing role in online condition monitoring of machines. WSNs are
[...] Read more.
Condition monitoring can reduce machine breakdown losses, increase productivity and operation safety, and therefore deliver significant benefits to many industries. The emergence of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) with smart processing ability play an ever-growing role in online condition monitoring of machines. WSNs are cost-effective networking systems for machine condition monitoring. It avoids cable usage and eases system deployment in industry, which leads to significant savings. Powering the nodes is one of the major challenges for a true WSN system, especially when positioned at inaccessible or dangerous locations and in harsh environments. Promising energy harvesting technologies have attracted the attention of engineers because they convert microwatt or milliwatt level power from the environment to implement maintenance-free machine condition monitoring systems with WSNs. The motivation of this review is to investigate the energy sources, stimulate the application of energy harvesting based WSNs, and evaluate the improvement of energy harvesting systems for mechanical condition monitoring. This paper overviews the principles of a number of energy harvesting technologies applicable to industrial machines by investigating the power consumption of WSNs and the potential energy sources in mechanical systems. Many models or prototypes with different features are reviewed, especially in the mechanical field. Energy harvesting technologies are evaluated for further development according to the comparison of their advantages and disadvantages. Finally, a discussion of the challenges and potential future research of energy harvesting systems powering WSNs for machine condition monitoring is made. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Harvesting Sensor Systems)
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