Microsystem Technologies

, Volume 22, Issue 7, pp 1557–1574 | Cite as

Harvesting of river flow energy for wireless sensor network technology

  • Ervin Kamenar
  • Saša Zelenika
  • David Blažević
  • Senka Maćešić
  • Goran Gregov
  • Kristina Marković
  • Vladimir Glažar
Technical Paper

Abstract

River courses play a vital role in preserving unpolluted ecosystems. On the other hand, networks of sensor nodes can be used to measure characteristic parameters in the environment such as temperature, pressure, humidity or the concentration of pollutants. In the framework of the EU FP7 project “GOLDFISH”, technical competences of a consortium of 11 institutions are hence employed in designing, manufacturing, validating and operating wireless sensors nodes for tracking pollution in remote rivers. The sensor network is composed of sensor clusters located underwater and gateways on the riverbank with long-distance communication links to the central management and monitoring station. Each sensor node is composed of active electronic devices that have to be constantly powered. Batteries can generally be used for this purpose, but problems may occur when they are to be recharged or replaced, especially in the case of large networks placed in scarcely accessible locations. State-of-the-art energy harvesting technologies can hence constitute a viable powering solution. The possibility to use different small-scale river flow energy harvesting principles is thoroughly studied in this work by the University of Rijeka GOLDFISH team: a miniaturized hydro-generator, a ‘piezoelectric eel’ and a hybrid solution of a rotating shaft plucking a piezoelectric beam. The first two concepts are validated experimentally in a flow channel and in real river conditions. The miniaturized hydro-generator with suitable power management electronics is finally embedded into the wireless sensor node deployed into the river, allowing the GSM transmission of collected data to be successfully performed.

Keywords

Sensor Node Flow Channel Bluff Body Wireless Sensor Node Water Flow Velocity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The work presented in this paper was part of and supported by the EU FP7 ICT-2009.9.1 project no. 269985 “GOLDFISH—Detection of Watercourse Contamination in Developing countries using Sensor Networks—Enlarged”. The work was partly made possible also by using the equipment funded via the EU European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) project no. RC.2.2.06-0001: “Research Infrastructure for Campus-based Laboratories at the University of Rijeka (RISK)”.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ervin Kamenar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Saša Zelenika
    • 1
    • 2
  • David Blažević
    • 1
    • 2
  • Senka Maćešić
    • 1
  • Goran Gregov
    • 1
  • Kristina Marković
    • 1
    • 2
  • Vladimir Glažar
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of RijekaRijekaCroatia
  2. 2.Centre for Micro and Nano Sciences and TechnologiesUniversity of RijekaRijekaCroatia

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