Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) play an increasingly important role in monitoring applications in many areas. With the emergence of the Internet-of-Things (IoT), many more low-power sensors will need to be deployed in various environments to collect and monitor data about environmental factors in real time. Providing power supply to these sensor nodes becomes a critical challenge for realizations of IoT applications as sensor nodes are normally battery-powered and have a limited lifetime. This paper proposes a wireless sensor network that is powered by solar energy harvesting. The sensor network monitors the environmental data with low-power sensor electronics and forms a network using multiple XBee wireless modules. A detailed performance analysis of the network system under solar energy harvesting has been presented. The sensor network system and the proposed energy-harvesting techniques are configured to achieve a continuous energy source for the sensor network. The proposed energy-harvesting system has been successfully designed to enable an energy solution in order to keep sensor nodes active and reliable for a whole day. The paper also outlines some of our experiences in real-time implementation of a sensor network system with energy harvesting. © 2017 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Energy harvesting
- Environmental monitoring