Efficient RF energy scavenging and ultra-low power management for powering wireless sensor nodes Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/wh246v55g

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  • As the demand for real-time information in engineering and health care systems keeps increasing, the need for wireless sensor nodes is also continuously increasing. As a result, the cost and effort involved in installing and maintaining batteries to power the numerous sensor nodes is growing exponentially. Providing a cost effective and maintenance free alternate energy source is the motivation behind the development of energy scavenging solutions for self-powered sensor networks. In this research, an energy scavenging system that extracts energy from ambient radio-frequency waves transmitted in the 2.4GHz ISM band is designed. The harvested energy is efficiently managed with an ultra low-power switched capacitor buck-boost DC-DC converter to wirelessly power the nodes in a wireless sensor network. Analysis and optimization of the number of rectifier stages required to achieve efficient power conversion is carried out. To improve far field conversion efficiency and extend the scavenger sensitivity, the threshold voltage of the diodes in the rectifiers are reduced to about 50mV by using the floating-gate programming technique.The active power consumption of the switched-capacitor DC-DC converter is around 1.2μW. A micro-power analog to digital converter for variable gain selection and a sub-threshold linear voltage regulator for providing the start-up, are designed. The integrated system provides a fully autonomous micro-energy scavenging solution for the sensor nodes. The simulated results suggest that the scavenger achieves a 10% higher con- version efficiency than the most recently reported work. The operational distance of this improved energy scavenging solution is 6 meters (in free space) from an intentional RF transmitter operating under FCC specifications at 2.4GHz. The targeted application of this research is to provide an alternate energy solution for low power devices, including wireless sensor nodes and bio-medical applications.
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