Energy harvesting solutions in wireless sensor networks

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Dr. Szabó Sándor
Department of Networked Systems and Services

Nowadays wireless sensor networks are being used in a wide range of fields. These networks can be used for medical purposes, production and environment monitoring, military purposes, or at many fields in everyday life. A critical challenge of the sensor designing is the realization of the power supply. The purpose of this thesis is to design a sensor module, which uses energy harvesting for power supply instead of batteries.

The first step was a wide range research for available energy sources and the already existing methods for harvesting. I compared these methods by a subjective value system. After this I chose the optimal harvesting method for my application. Then I examined the components for the chosen piezoelectric harvesting method available on the market. As the result of the research I chose the best piezoelectric energy harvester and power supply module for future measurements. The reason to buy a power supply module is to be able to complete the measurements faster than with a self-made module. I did multiple measurements on the purchased devices with different harvesting options, investigating the output power. Finally, I designed the nodal circuit of the planned sensor network. This includes the power supply, a microcontroller - which is responsible for controlling the operation, a temperature sensor, and a radio frequency transceiver for data sending. I optimized the used circuit elements for the operation.


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