21 May 2015 Autonomous solutions for powering wireless sensor nodes in rivers
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There is an evident need for monitoring pollutants and/or other conditions in river flows via wireless sensor networks. In a typical wireless sensor network topography, a series of sensor nodes is to be deployed in the environment, all wirelessly connected to each other and/or their gateways. Each sensor node is composed of active electronic devices that have to be constantly powered. In general, batteries can be used for this purpose, but problems may occur when they have to be replaced. In the case of large networks, when sensor nodes can be placed in hardly accessible locations, energy harvesting can thus be a viable powering solution. The possibility to use three different small-scale river flow energy harvesting principles is hence thoroughly studied in this work: a miniaturized underwater turbine, a so-called ‘piezoelectric eel’ and a hybrid turbine solution coupled with a rigid piezoelectric beam. The first two concepts are then validated experimentally in laboratory as well as in real river conditions. The concept of the miniaturised hydro-generator is finally embedded into the actual wireless sensor node system and its functionality is confirmed.
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E. Kamenar, E. Kamenar, S. Maćešić, S. Maćešić, G. Gregov, G. Gregov, D. Blažević, D. Blažević, S. Zelenika, S. Zelenika, K. Marković, K. Marković, V. Glažar, V. Glažar, "Autonomous solutions for powering wireless sensor nodes in rivers", Proc. SPIE 9517, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS VII; and Cyber Physical Systems, 951712 (21 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2178250; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2178250

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