Transmit high data loads from sensors using vibration energy

Southampton, Hants., UK and Dallas—Perpetuum and Texas Instruments now enable sensor system manufacturers to transmit high data loads entirely powered by vibration energy harvesting.


Southampton, Hants., UK and Dallas Perpetuum and Texas Instruments now enable sensor system manufacturers to transmit high data loads entirely powered by vibration energy harvesting.

Perpetuum, a leader in vibration energy-harvesting, announces that its PMG17 vibration energy-harvesting microgenerator can readily be used to power the Texas Instruments CC2420 single chip RF transceiver and MSP430 16-bit ultra-low-power microcontroller. Thus, sensor node manufacturers can design battery-free sensor systems using the IEEE 802.15.4 standard even for data-intensive applications such as condition monitoring. This opens up new opportunities for proprietary protocols.

The CC2420 transceiver is designed for low-power, low-voltage RF applications using the 802.15.4 protocol. A vibration energy-harvesting sensor node designed by Perpetuum around the CC2420 is capable of sampling 2 kbyte of vibration data and transmitting it over 100 m (line-of-sight) every 60 seconds when only 0.025 g of vibration is present. At this low level of vibration, the PMG17 energy harvester produces up to 1 mW, while at 1 g the output is around 50 mW, enabling the node to measure and transmit continuously. The node can be configured to measure and transmit smaller data sets, such as temperature, more frequently or larger data sets less frequently, depending on the application.

“We are delighted Perpetuum has designed a practical alternative to batteries that can be used to power our transmitters,” says Frank Forster, business development manager,

John Parker, senior engineer, Perpetuum, adds: “Our microgenerators and the Texas Instruments CC2420 enable wireless sensing nodes to monitor plant, process and machinery, remotely, wirelessly and without any batteries. Operators can use the data about the condition of plant equipment for improved asset management, and for preventative maintenance, allowing them to significantly reduce down-time and save [money].”

An application note to aid engineers designing self-powered wireless condition monitoring systems is available for download from the Perpetuum Website.

Also read, from Control Engineering :
Wireless in machines: Energy harvesting technology gets real
New Ways to Power Instrumentation

—Edited by Barb Axelson , contributing editor
Control Engineering Weekly News
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