Design Considerations for a Universal Smart Energy Module for Energy Harvesting in Wireless Sensor Networks

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This paper presents the design of a universal energy module for nodes in wireless sensor networks. It supports a wide range of energy harvesters and energy storage systems. The focus is on the efficient conversion and storage of energy and to provide a smart platform for higher level energy management functions. The module provides maximum power point tracking and supports hybrid harvesters. Continuous power supply is a common problem for nodes in wireless sensor networks. Low-power components and power saving techniques like sleep-state duty cycling extend battery's lifetime significantly, but cannot prevent the inevitable starvation. The usefulness of further decreasing duty cycle diminishes, increasing lifetime no longer linearly, because self-discharges and sleeping currents gain significance.