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Wireless sensors to be powered by ambient energy

ANU Research School of Engineering lead researcher Salman Durrani

Wireless sensors may be able to be powered by harvesting renewable or ambient energy from mobile phone base stations, researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) have claimed.

Researchers said it was feasible to replace batteries with energy harvested from solar or ambient radio frequency sources such as communication towers or other mobile phone base stations, with communication delays typically limited to less than a few hundred milliseconds.

ANU Research School of Engineering lead researcher Salman Durrani said that although the introduction of the technology was several years away, the research dealt with an important practical problem.

“A major problem hindering the widespread deployment of wireless sensor networks is the need to periodically replace batteries,” said Durrani.

“If we can use energy harvesting to solve the battery replacement problem for wireless sensors, we can implement long-lasting monitoring devices for health, agriculture, mining, wildlife and critical national infrastructure, which will improve the quality of life,” he said.

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