School of Electronics and Computer Science | University of Southampton
Pervasive Systems Centre School of Electronics and Computer Science WiSE: Wireless Sensing in ECS

Seminar: "Realization Of Energy Harvesting Wireless Sensor Networks"

Tan Yen Kheng
Tan Yen Kheng

Title: "Realization Of Energy Harvesting Wireless Sensor Networks - with special focus on the energy harvesting systems"
Speaker: Tan Yen Kheng, National University of Singapore
Date: Friday 29th May 2009
Time: 2.30pm
Location: ESD Demo Room

Note: The slides from Yen Kheng's presentation can be downloaded here

Wireless sensor network (WSN) has been widely used in many application areas such as remote area sensing, structural health monitoring and lifestyle management. The sensor nodes in the WSN are typically powered by batteries which have limited energy capacities and the nodes are distributed in an autonomous manner to monitor the ambient condition of the remote deployment area. The real challenge in WSN is on how to elongate the operational lifespan of the sensor nodes. Take for example, using a standard 3.7 V lithium-ion rechargeable battery with nominal capacity of 1.8 Ah for a Crossbow sensor node operating at 1 % duty cycle (1.14 mW), the node can last only for 8 operational months. After which, the WSN will fail. The challenges and research issues in a sustainable WSN will be discussed in the talk, knowing that energy supply is the bottleneck. Energy harvesting (EH) has been introduced recently as a potential energy source to supplement the rechargeable batteries in the sensor node to extend its operating lifetime. During the seminar talk, the integration of energy harvesting in wireless sensor network to form the new EH-WSN will be discussed. Various energy harvesting methods i.e. wind, solar, vibration and thermal will be described and implemented to power a remote area sensor node. To achieve the new EH-WSN in practical applications, the design considerations for the fusion of energy harvesting systems with the sensor nodes in WSN will be elaborated. Some important research issues to be discussed include maximize energy harvesting with dedicated ultra-low power management solutions, optimize the wireless sensor nodes equipped with EH in the network, etc.

Tan Yen Kheng received his B.Eng degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) from National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2003 and the Master of Technological Design (Mechatronics Engineering) degree jointly offered by NUS and the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in 2006. He is currently a Ph.D research scholar in the ECE Department at NUS and his main research interests include micro power generation using solar, wind, thermal and vibration energy sources, energy harvesting wireless sensor network (EH-WSN) and their associated power electronics. He has worked extensively on various parts of the energy harvesting systems i.e. ambient energy sources, energy harvesters, analog and MCU-based power (energy) management and wireless sensor nodes to correlate and optimize the design of the EH systems for real-life applications.

Posted by Dr Geoff Merrett on 10 May 2009.
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