Conference Paper

Wireless sensor networks powered by ambient energy harvesting (WSN-HEAP) - Survey and challenges

Networking Protocols Dept., Inst. for Infocomm Res., Singapore, Singapore
DOI: 10.1109/WIRELESSVITAE.2009.5172411 Conference: Wireless Communication, Vehicular Technology, Information Theory and Aerospace & Electronic Systems Technology, 2009. Wireless VITAE 2009. 1st International Conference on
Source: IEEE Xplore

ABSTRACT Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) research has pre-dominantly assumed the use of a portable and limited energy source, viz. batteries, to power sensors. Without energy, a sensor is essentially useless and cannot contribute to the utility of the network as a whole. Consequently, substantial research efforts have been spent on designing energy-efficient networking protocols to maximize the lifetime of WSNs. However, there are emerging WSN applications where sensors are required to operate for much longer durations (like years or even decades) after they are deployed. Examples include in-situ environmental/habitat monitoring and structural health monitoring of critical infrastructures and buildings, where batteries are hard (or impossible) to replace/recharge. Lately, an alternative to powering WSNs is being actively studied, which is to convert the ambient energy from the environment into electricity to power the sensor nodes. While renewable energy technology is not new (e.g., solar and wind) the systems in use are far too large for WSNs. Those small enough for use in wireless sensors are most likely able to provide only enough energy to power sensors sporadically and not continuously. Sensor nodes need to exploit the sporadic availability of energy to quickly sense and transmit the data. This paper surveys related research and discusses the challenges of designing networking protocols for such WSNs powered by ambient energy harvesting.

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    ABSTRACT: Energy provisioning trend in Wireless Sensor Net-works (WSNs) is shifted towards alternate sources by utilizing available ambient energy, of which solar irradiance harvesting is considered a viable alternative to fixed batteries. However, the en-ergy storage buffer for harvested solar energy should be adaptive to the sporadic nature of the diurnal solar radiation availability. We believe that the typical fixed battery models no longer apply in harvesting enabled sensors. Therefore, we propose a random walk based stochastic model namely; Trinomial Random Walk (TRW) model for the storage capacity of harvesting enabled sensors. We then apply the proposed model on a comprehensive solar radiation data set of four different locations around the globe. Our performance evaluation demonstrates that the proposed model better analyze the sporadic nature of the diurnal solar radiation availability for estimating the required storage capacity. We further investigate an optimal power consumption value for a given energy store size, such that the utilization of harvested energy is maximized and the probability of energy depletion is minimized. For a given energy harvesting scenario, our model better approximates the optimal load with probability of up to a maximum of 98%, compared to a maximum of 37% for the binomial random walk model.
    PIMRC 2014, Washington D.C; 10/2014
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    ABSTRACT: Energy provisioning trend in Wireless Sensor Net-works (WSNs) is shifted towards alternate sources by utilizing available ambient energy, of which solar irradiance harvesting is considered a viable alternative to fixed batteries. However, the en-ergy storage buffer for harvested solar energy should be adaptive to the sporadic nature of the diurnal solar radiation availability. We believe that the typical fixed battery models no longer apply in harvesting enabled sensors. Therefore, we propose a random walk based stochastic model namely; Trinomial Random Walk (TRW) model for the storage capacity of harvesting enabled sensors. We then apply the proposed model on a comprehensive solar radiation data set of four different locations around the globe. Our performance evaluation demonstrates that the proposed model better analyze the sporadic nature of the diurnal solar radiation availability for estimating the required storage capacity. We further investigate an optimal power consumption value for a given energy store size, such that the utilization of harvested energy is maximized and the probability of energy depletion is minimized. For a given energy harvesting scenario, our model better approximates the optimal load with probability of up to a maximum of 98%, compared to a maximum of 37% for the binomial random walk model.
    PIMRC 2014, Washighton D.C; 09/2014
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    ABSTRACT: a b s t r a c t As the wireless sensor networks (WSNs) technology has great advancement, small and smart WSN systems now can be used for more complicated and challenging applications. WSNs investigation has primarily believed the use of a convenient and inadequate energy source for empowering the sensors. A sensor becomes useless in the absence of energy and becomes unable to contribute to the utility of the network as a group. Therefore, extensive efforts have been used in finding energy-efficient networking protocols for increasing the life span of WSNs. However, there are promising WSN applications where the sensors are obligatory to work for a long time after their deployments. In these cases, batteries are tough or impractical to replace/recharge. Although, a little amount of power is required for these applications, the useable lifetime of WSNs is decreased by the gradual degradation of the batteries. With the motivation of raising the usable WSNs around us and to value a number of economic and environmental limitations, researchers are looking for new green and theoretically unlimited energy sources. Harvesting of energy from the ambient energy is the basement of these new sources. Energy harvesting devices efficiently and effectively capture, accumulate, store, condition, and manage this energy and supply it in a form that can be used to empower WSNs. This harvested energy can be an alternative energy source for adding-on a principal power source and thus increase the consistency of the whole WSN by preventing the disruption of power. A great deal of research has been reviewed and specific ranges of applications have been found. Though there are challenges to overcome, different researchers have taken different approaches to solve those. In this review, we have emphasized on different scopes, challenges, ideas and actions of energy harvesting for WSNs.
    Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 07/2014; 38:973-989. · 5.63 Impact Factor

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May 31, 2014