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Energy Scavenging For Wireless Sensor Nodes With A Focus On Rotation To Electricity Conversion

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

New Trends in Energy Curriculum

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.613.1 - 12.613.13

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Paper Authors

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Faruk Yildiz University of Northern Iowa

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Recayi 'Reg' Pecen

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Jin Zhu University of Northern Iowa

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Liping Guo

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Energy Scavenging for Wireless Sensor Nodes with a Focus on Rotation to Electricity Conversion


Today, sustaining the power requirement for autonomous wireless sensor network is an important issue. In the past, energy storage has improved significantly. However, this progress has not been able to keep up with the development of microprocessors, memory storage, and sensor applications. In wireless sensor networks, battery-powered sensors and modules that are expected to last for a long period of time, since conducting battery maintenance for a large-scale network consisting of hundreds or even thousands of sensor nodes may be difficult, if not impossible. Ambient power sources, as replacement of batteries, come into consideration, to minimize the maintenance. Power scavenging may enable wireless sensor nodes to be completely self-sustaining so that battery maintenance can be eventually freed.

Researchers have performed wide spread studies, in alternative energy sources that could providing small amount of electricity to low-power devices. Energy harvesting can be obtained from different energy sources, such as vibration, light, acoustic, airflow, heat, temperature variations. Table 1 below illustrates the comparisons of various energy scavenging sources derived from various number of research efforts. One of the physical phenomena that are being employed to satisfy the requirements for the generation of small amounts of electricity is the mechanical rotation.

This paper introduces an energy scavenging technique for low power wireless sensor nodes with a focus on conversion of mechanical rotation energy to electricity. Here we consider a hydraulic door closer as a potential energy resource where the door is moved by human power in daily life. The two phases of door hydraulic system operations are: the first phase is the opening phase that is generally activated by human power; the second one is the closing phase that is controlled by a spring and a hydraulic damping mechanism. The mechanical energy can be converted to electrical energy using appropriate device and provide energy to low power sensor nodes.

Table 1: Comparison of Energy Harvesting and Energy Storage Methods Energy Source Power Density & Performance Source of Information 3 Acoustic Noise 0.003 µW/cm @ 75Db M. Rabaey, et al.,20001 0.96 µW/cm3 @ 100Db Temperature Variation 10 µW/cm3 Roundy et al. 20042 Temperature Gradient 15 degree @ 10 C gradient Stordeur and Stark 19973 Ambient Radio Frequency 1 µW/cm2 E.M. Yeatman, 20044 2 100 mW/cm (direct sun) Ambient Light Available 100 µW/cm2 (illuminated office) Thermoelectric 60 µW/cm2 J. Stevens, 19995 Vibration (using micro 4 µW/cm3 (human motion—Hz) 6 generator) 800 µW/cm3 (machines—kHz) P.D. Mitcheson et al., 2004 Vibrations (Piezoelectric) 200 µW/cm3 Roundy et all 20027 2 Airflow 1 µW/cm A.S. Holmes et al., 20048

Yildiz, F., & Pecen, R. R., & Zhu, J., & Guo, L. (2007, June), Energy Scavenging For Wireless Sensor Nodes With A Focus On Rotation To Electricity Conversion Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii.

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