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Power Supply Issues for Wireless Sensor Networks: A Review



Wenqi Guo, William M. Healy, Mengchu Zhou


Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have enabled numerous embedded wireless applications in different areas such as military/battlefield, environmental monitoring, and intelligent building systems. They consist of a large number of nodes that need to operate normally for months to years to complete designated tasks. Due to the small dimension of a sensor node, the power supply embedded in it has to be very limited. Thus energy conservation becomes a challenging issue in WSNs. In many applications, the power supplies for WSNs fail earlier than the projected lifetime. It is a challenge for researchers and developers to obtain long operating hours without sacrificing the system performance. To better understand the characteristics of WSN power supply, this paper surveys the main factors that can affect battery discharge. Furthermore, it offers readers a glimpse of applying new technology-driven WSNs with energy-harvesting techniques such as photovoltaics or piezoelectric generators.
IEEE Sensors Journal


Battery, Wireless Sensor Networks, Renewable energy


Guo, W. , Healy, W. and Zhou, M. (2014), Power Supply Issues for Wireless Sensor Networks: A Review, IEEE Sensors Journal, [online], (Accessed May 28, 2024)


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Created February 28, 2014, Updated October 12, 2021