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This paper proposes a power management architecture that utilizes both supercapacitor cells and a lithium battery as energy storages for a photovoltaic (PV)-based wireless sensor network. The supercapacitor guarantees a longer lifetime in terms of charge cycles and has a large range of operating temperatures, but has the drawback of having low energy density and high cost. The lithium battery has higher energy density but requires an accurate charge profile to increase its lifetime, feature that cannot be easily obtained supplying the wireless node with a fluctuating source as the PV one. Combining the two storages is possible to obtain good compromise in terms of energy density. A statistic analysis is used for sizing the storages and experimental results with a 5-W PV energy source are reported.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2012