Wireless sensor devices are cable-free, but they still require a battery that will occasionally need replacement. While transceivers with lower power consumption have boosted battery life in some products, their batteries ultimately will die and require service.
The GreenPeak Lime CM-08 module solves that problem for sensor monitoring and control devices (see the figure). Developed by GreenPeak Technologies, it uses energy harvesting to eliminate battery replacement and other power sources in wireless sensor nodes.
This complete, standalone wireless system comprises a transceiver, an antenna, low-power mesh network software, and energy-harvesting capabilities. Based on the IEEE 802.15.4 (2.4 GHz) and ZigBee standards, it measures less than a square inch and targets sensors, switches, and other OEM controllers.
The GreenPeak module gets its energy from solar sources, electromagnetic fields, and piezoelectric torsion. It then stores the energy and carefully manages its application. Special power- management algorithms and smart power-up/down synchronization techniques make optimum use of the acquired energy. With the mesh network configuration, each node can act as a repeater, extending the overall communications range even with ultra-low-power transmissions.
The CM-08 operates in the 2.4-GHz U.S. industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) band. Additionally, it’s compatible with the IEEE 802.15.4 and European EN 300 440 standards. An on-board processor can be used for the application, eliminating the need for an external processor. Related development and deployment software is available as well.
The Lime CM-08 module targets medical and healthcare devices, safety and security, building and home automation, asset management, industrial automation, and other applications. It costs $21 in 100,000-unit quantities. The starter kit is $1290, and a developer’s suite goes for $6950.