Select

Self-powered IoT Devices Based on Energy Harvesting Technology

Technology Overview

Internet of Things (IoT) devices are increasingly deployed in various industries to do sensing, processing the information and automizing the systems. However, most of the existing IoT devices use batteries, leading to batteries replacement issues, especially with the significant growth in the number of IoT devices. Therefore, we develop a self-powered, autonomous and miniaturized smart wireless sensor nodes (WSNs) for IoT applications.

The innovation of this venture comes from the use of a novel piezoelectric technology (patented) to create an energy harvesting mechanism. The energy harvesting unit collects energy from the magnetic field associated with the power-line current. Applying this solution to monitor all operators’ assets would create a new precedent for companies to work with an enormous amount of data to optimize their operations and generate capacity for predictive maintenance.

We have demonstrated self-powered, low-cost and reliable wireless sensor nodes (WSNs) in smart grid applications. The self-powered WSNs are designed to monitor and predict electrical grid issues/accidents, rapid detect power cuts, frauds and energy losses, as well as monitor the physical asset parameters and power transmission. The generated information from the self-powered WSN system can help to optimize and predict power distribution and improve the maintenance actions. As a result, it helps to reduce the operating and maintenance costs of up to 20%. 

Moving forward, the same energy harvesting technology will be used to create IoT devices that allow maintenance-free monitoring on other utilities, such as water and gas distribution, as well as adopted to control industrial assets. 

Technology Features & Specifications

Our self-powered IoT system consists of various sensors, an energy harvesting unit and an analytics platform.

IoT node/WSN with sensors:

  • Our IoT nodes can be installed to monitor light, pollution, temperature, humidity, wind direction, and intensity, mechanical stress, inclination, current, solar radiation, corrosion, partial discharges, soiling in insulators, and others.
  •  The parameters for monitoring can be adapted based on the clients’ specifications.
  • Our IoT devices do not require batteries. They can be installed on all grid assets. They are light, compact, hermetically sealed, and 5-10x less expensive than other similar devices in the market 

Energy Harvesting Unit:

  • Our harvesting unit that is embedded in the IoT devices can collect power associated with the magnetic field generated by the power current.
  • It replaces the need for batteries or current transformers.

Analytics Platform:

  • Data collection and processing
  • Device and network management

Potential Applications

Our main hardware is an autonomous sensor node device directed by Distribution and Transmission System Operators (DSOs / TSOs).

We have IoT devices to monitor the electrical grid assets. Currently, with the following applications:

  • monitoring conductor
  • monitoring towers
  • monitoring insulators

Applications of our energy harvester in other industries, such as water and gas distribution or industrial devices, can be carried out on request.

We can develop and customize our energy harvesting technology (using piezoelectric materials) based on the clients’ use cases (e.g., types of sensors and devices that require energy autonomy, replace batteries on low power devices).

Market Trends and Opportunities

Distribution and transmission system operators (DSOs and TSOs) can reduce up to 20% of their operational and maintenance costs by using our device solution. The generating of an enormous of a new class of data can help in decision making and can be visualized on our analytics platform or integrated with the client’s system.

Use cases:

  • Optimize maintenance and operation of grid assets (tower, conductor, insulator, substation)
  • Calculate the dynamic line rating (DLR) at maximum precision
  • Rapidly identify and recover grid issues/ accidents, power outages (System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI)) and fires
  • Detect frauds and leaking points
  • Control the harmonics and quality of transmission
  • Reduce energy loss

Customer Benefits

Currently, there are about 3.5 billion sensors out there, increasing from 10 million in 2007.  Recent projections from the industry's biggest players are expecting the piezoelectric energy harvesting investments will hit a $15 trillion market in the next 20 years.

Make an Enquiry