PCB integration of dye-sensitised solar cells for low-cost networked embedded systems

Jens Eliasson, Jerker Delsing, Simon J. Thompson, Yi Bing Cheng

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review


Wireless sensor networks are envisioned to make a large impact on how sensor data from physical phenomena can be utilized by millions of users on the Internet. However, one concern in deploying a large number of real-world physical sensors is that replacing spent batteries might not be feasible. One solution to this issue may involve energy harvesting technology, e.g. solar panels. Solar panels are currently relatively expensive because they require a time-consuming and therefore costly assembly process. As an alternative, this paper suggests a new approach to powering networked sensors: the direct integration of a solar cell onto the sensor nodes printed circuit board. This approach eliminates the need for manual assembly and the use of expensive connectors. This article presents test results and a feasibility analysis of the direct integration of a dye-sensitised solar cell onto a circuit board. Preliminary results indicate that this approach is feasible for networked sensors. The aim of this work is to develop a method for the assembly of complete systems, consisting of a printed circuit board, components, and power supply, using a single production process. The first steps towards this aim have been taken, and the authors believe that the proposed approach may be one enabling technology for future large-scale, low-cost wireless sensor networks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSENSORCOMM 2011 - 5th International Conference on Sensor Technologies and Applications and WSNSCM 2011, 1st International Workshop on Sensor Networks for Supply Chain Management
EditorsJens Martin Hovem, Joshua Ellul, Laurent Gomez, Yenumula Reddy
Place of PublicationWilmington, DE
PublisherInternational Academy, Research, and Industry Association (IARIA)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781612081441
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventInternational Conference on Sensor Technologies and Applications (SENSORCOMM) 2011 - French Riviera, Nice/Saint Laurent du Var, France
Duration: 21 Aug 201127 Aug 2011
Conference number: 5th


ConferenceInternational Conference on Sensor Technologies and Applications (SENSORCOMM) 2011
Abbreviated titleSENSORCOMM 2011
CityNice/Saint Laurent du Var
Internet address


  • Dye sensitised solar cells
  • Energy harvesting
  • Networked sensors
  • Wireless sensor networks

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