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A measurement platform for energy harvesting and software characterization in WSNs

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6 Author(s)
Philipp M. Glatz ; Institute for Technical Informatics, Graz University of Technology, Inffeldgasse 16/1, 8010, Austria ; Philipp Meyer ; Alex Janek ; Thomas Trathnigg
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Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) nodes are resource- constrained computing devices. Adaptive behavior of autonomously working WSNs tries to maximize the cost efficiency of deployments. This includes maximizing the lifetime through power consumption optimization and recharging energy reservoirs with the use of energy harvesting. The adaptive behavior that leads to efficient resource usage needs information about the WSNs energy balance for decision making. We present a novel platform to measure the harvested, stored and dissipated energy. For being applicable to different environments it allows to attach different energy harvesting devices (EHDs). EHDs do not provide power continuously. Power availability patterns are used to determine how these sources can be used efficiently. Models from harvesting theory try to adapt to it. We implement a model that targets energy neutrality on our platform. It is used to evaluate the model and improve it. Our novel platform can be used to evaluate theories that model different sources. It can utilize and characterize thermoelectric, piezoelectric and magnetic induction generators and solar cells. The measurement platform tracks energy dissipation too. Mote software is implemented to establish communication to the platform. A sample application on top of it shows that the system can be used for software characterization. This paper contributes a novel modular and low-power design for measurement platforms for WSNs. It shows utilization of different energy sources and the ability to supply different mote types. Our work shows how theories for energy harvesting can be evaluated and improved. Our work also contributes to the field of simulation and emulation through online software characterization. The approach improves in accuracy and completeness over the capabilities of offline simulation.

Published in:

2008 1st IFIP Wireless Days

Date of Conference:

24-27 Nov. 2008