Title: Energy harvesting for wireless sensor networks: applications and challenges in smart grid

Authors: Shichuan Ma; Yaoqing (Lamar) Yang; Yi Qian; Hamid Sharif; Mahmoud Alahmad

Addresses: Qualcomm Technologies Inc., San Diego, CA 92121, USA ' Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Omaha, NE 68182, USA ' Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Omaha, NE 68182, USA ' Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Omaha, NE 68182, USA ' Department of Architectural Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Omaha, NE 68182, USA

Abstract: The electric power grid is experiencing a transformation to the smart grid. One crucial step for this evolution is to establish a nationwide digital communication system which enables pervasive control and real-time monitoring of the power grid. Considering the large geographically spread characteristics of the power grid, a wireless sensor network is an ideal candidate for distributed monitoring and control. However, battery-powered sensors have a limited lifetime and the maintenance is expensive due to battery replacement. Thus, energy harvesting from different sources offers an alternative solution. This paper provides a detailed survey of recent energy harvesting technologies in wireless sensor networks. Various energy sources and their harvesting methods are reviewed. This paper also addresses the applications and challenges caused by energy harvesting in the smart grid environment. Our study shows that electromagnetic field-based harvesting approaches and other ambient energy are potential solutions to powering the sensors in smart grid.

Keywords: energy harvesting; smart grid; smart buildings; WSN; wireless sensor networks; distributed monitoring; distributed control; energy consumption; electromagnetic fields; ambient energy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSNET.2016.079173

International Journal of Sensor Networks, 2016 Vol.21 No.4, pp.226 - 241

Available online: 19 Sep 2016 *

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