Battery-free Wireless Sensor Networks

Energy harvesting is increasingly gaining popularity and momentum across many different market spaces. When it comes to combining energy harvesting with wireless networks EnOcean and Green Peak are on the forefront. EnOcean provides battery free wireless sensor networks that are capable of transmitting some 300m with just 50 microjoules of energy. These sensor modules harvest tiny amounts of energy from their surrounding sources such as linear motion / pressure, light, temperature change, rotation and vibration. GreenPeak offers a similar technology which can be easily integrated into existing products. Their tiny wireless module integrates a transmitter/receiver, antenna, and low-power mesh network software on a single device. The module’s software can be configured to manage the power of different types of energy harvesting devices. OEMs can also add their own applications to the module, thereby eliminating the need for an external processor. A great example of how this technology can be used is the new 57-story Torre Espacio skyscraper in Madrid which uses 4,200 wireless buttons to control its 4,500 lights, thereby enabling all interior walls to be moveable without rewiring any light switches and at the same time providing a platform for intelligent power management of the building. Green intelligent buildings can save up to 30% energy as well by replacing batteries these devices eliminate toxic waste from disposed batteries which is also a great improvement to the environmental footprint that we are leaving. I believe that energy scavenging will become increasingly popular across all industries, and add more flexibility to low power oriented designs. Take a look at these truly innovative companies:

Green Peak - CM-08

EnOcean

GreenPeak

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One Comment on “Battery-free Wireless Sensor Networks”


  1. I believe that this is the best way to do data logging, and the sensors network build up by deploying such battery free modules, catering their own energy sources, will benefit the Building Management Systems (BMS).

    Top of that, the mesh technology that enables system designers like us, to create extended sensor networks with out worrying about power sources ever.

    So, goodbye to “traditonal” LP and sleeps modes!


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