Faculty Publications


Ambient energy harvesting and self-sustainability for transportation infrastructure monitoring wireless sensor networks

Document Type



energy efficiency, energy harvesting, power mangement, super capacitor, wireless sensor networks

Journal/Book/Conference Title

2013 IEEE Sensors Applications Symposium, SAS 2013 - Proceedings

First Page


Last Page



Due to the fact that a significant cost of any bridge monitoring system lies in the cost of cabling and its installation, the application of wireless sensor networks is of great importance to the widespread use of bridge monitoring. However, limited power storage, which requires battery replacement, remains a major technical challenge that hinders the deployment of wireless sensor networks, despite the many advantages of using them for structure monitoring. Thus it is very attractive for wireless sensor nodes to be able to harvest energy from the ambient environment to provide power for the sensing, processing, and communications operations. In the paper, we studied the ambient energy harvesting problem of wireless sensors for bridge monitoring and how to achieve complete self-sustainability. The available energy resources were investigated for the bridge monitoring application. A wireless sensor system was implemented and test results on its energy consumption profiles were provided. With careful budgeting it is feasible to achieve complete self-sustainability for some applications with ambient energy harvesting. © 2013 IEEE.


Department of Technology

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DOI of published version