Self-Sustainable IoT-Based Remote Sensing Powered by Energy Harvesting Using Stacked Piezoelectric Transducer and Thermoelectric Generator




Dipon, Wasim
Gamboa, Bryan
Estrada, Maximilian
Flynn, William Paul
Guo, Ruyan
Bhalla, Amar

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We propose a self-powered remote multi-sensing system for traffic sensing which is powered by the collective energy harvested from the mechanical vibration of the road caused by the passing vehicles and from the temperature gradient between the asphalt of the road and the soil underneath. A stacked piezoelectric transducer converts mechanical vibrations into electrical energy and a thermoelectric generator harvests the thermal energy from the thermal gradient. Electrical energy signals from the stacked piezoelectric transducer and the thermoelectric generators are converted into usable DC power to recharge the battery using AC-DC and DC-DC converters working simultaneously. The multi-sensing system comprises an embedded system with a microcontroller that acquires data from the sensors and sends the sensory data to an IoT transceiver which transmits the data as RF packets to an ethernet gateway. The gateway converts the RF packets into Internet Protocol (IP) packets and sends them to a remote server. Laboratory and road-testing results showed over 98% sensory data accuracy with the system functioning solely powered by the energy harvested from the alternative energy sources. The successful maximum transmission distance obtained between the IoT, and the gateway was approximately 1 mile, which is a considerable transmission distance achieved in an urban environment. Successful operation of the self-powered multi-sensing system under both laboratory and road conditions contributes considerably to the fields of energy harvesting and self-powered remote sensing systems. The energy flow chart and efficiency for the steps in the system were found to be mechanical power from vehicles to the energy harvester of 0.25%, stacked PZT transducer efficiency was found to be 37%, and for the TEGs the efficiency is 11%. AC-to-DC and DC-to-DC converters' efficiencies were found to be 90% and 11%. The wireless communication RF transceiver efficiency was found to be 62.5%.



remote sensing, IoT transceiver, gateway, the things network (TTN), stacked PZT transducer, thermoelectric generator (TEG), energy converter


Micromachines 14 (7): 1428 (2023)


Electrical and Computer Engineering