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In clustering wireless sensor networks, balancing the consumed energy and increasing the life time is the primary purpose of the routing protocol design. An Energy Balanced Multi-hop Adaptive Clustering protocol (EBMA) for wireless sensor network is presented in this paper, using the multi-hop mode to format a number of sub-networks, which like trees. Each sub-network is a cluster. In this paper, each parent node's residual energy is larger than its child nodes' in the cluster, thus the node with largest residual energy becomes the cluster head. Experimental results show that the proposed protocol effectively save the energy costs, balance the node energy consumption and prolong the lifetime of the network.