Attention Makers


Self Sustained WiFi Sensor Node for IoT

MAKERS: Shantam COUNTRY: India

Batteries are a boon as well as a bane for the IoT world. 20billion devices mean 20billion batteries too, how to replace/maintain them ? Energy Harvesting is the solution.


The Purpose

The purpose of the project is to understand and solve the problem of "Energy" faced by the booming IoT industry. It is expected that more than 20billion devices will be connected by 2020. When we have 100-200 devices then replacing batteries is not a big problem but unfortunately that is not the case with 1 million devices. Most of these devices are required to be placed at inaccessible locations like Nuclear Power Plants, battlefields,forests, underneath bridges, highways etc. In these cases Energy Harvesting will solve the problem of battery replacement.In next stage we will have to replace batteries with supercapacitors.

The Technology

I used the WiFi Micro board that uses the Texas Instruments CC3200MOD WiFi SoC as my microcontroller. For sensing various environmental parameters i used digital sensors based on I2C protocol. I chose digital sensors because running the microcontroller's ADC would have led to a lot of power consumption. The idea was to optimize both the hardware as well as the software. Following are the sensors - OPT3001 - Ambient Light Sensor that has a response curve that matches human eye response. HDC1080 - Humidity and Temperature Sensor MPL3115A2 - Atmospheric Pressure and Temperature Sensor. For Energy Harvesting i used both BQ25505 and BQ25570.

Additional Details

I designed the PCB boards for the sensors and the Energy Harvesting boards based on BQ25570 and BQ25505(along with other components for better performance) on EAGLE. After that i got them fabricated and then soldered all the components myself and tested them thoroughly under various lighting conditions to see if the Energy Harvesting part of the project is working properly and i was very impressed with the results. I have already started working on the next stage i.e replacing the battery completely with a supercapacitor. In the new design i will use Bluetooth Low Energy instead. All Design files are here

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