Senses Lab

SEnsors NetworkS and Embedded Systems Laboratory

Center for Cyber Intelligence and Information Security

Adaptive Rectifier Driven by Power Intake Predictors for Wind Energy Harvesting Sensor Networks

Research Area: Design, evaluation and test of complete solutions for Green Wireless Sensor Networks Year: 2014
Type of Publication: Article Keywords: Bridge circuits;MOSFET;Schottky diodes;Supercapacitors;Topology;Voltage measurement;Wireless sensor networks
Authors: D. Porcarelli; Dora Spenza; D. Brunelli; Alessandro Cammarano; Chiara Petrioli; L. Benini
Journal: IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics Volume: 3
Number: 2 Pages: 471-482
ISSN: 2168-6777
This paper presents a power management technique for improving the efficiency of harvesting energy from air-flows in wireless sensor networks (WSNs) applications. The proposed architecture consists of a two-stage energy conversion circuit: an AC-DC converter followed by a DC-DC buck-boost regulator with Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) capability. The key feature of the proposed solution is the adaptive hybrid voltage rectifier, which exploits both passive and active topologies combined with power prediction algorithms. The adaptive converter significantly outperforms other solutions, increasing the efficiency between 10% and 30% with respect to the only-passive and the only-active topologies. To assess the performance of this approach in a real-life scenario, air-flow data have been collected by deploying WSN nodes interfaced with a wind micro-turbine in an underground tunnel of the Metro B1 line in Rome. It is shown that, by using the adaptive AC-DC converter combined with power prediction algorithms, nodes deployed in the tunnel can harvest up to 22% more energy with respect to previous methods. Finally, it is shown that using power management techniques optimized for the specific scenario, the overall system overhead, in terms of average number of sampling performed per day by a node, is reduced of up to 93%.
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