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In this paper, a new multi-hop clustering routing algorithm MH-LEA for wireless sensor networks was proposed. Large surveillance area was divided into a series of concentric rings and packets were relayed between the adjacent rings. Heterogeneous of the size of clusters was utilized to overcome “hot spot” problem. From the objective of minimum energy consumption in first ring and balance of it between first ring and the other rings, the optimal choice of cluster number for each ring was deduced. Simulation proved that this algorithm has good performance under large area circumstances.