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ANU researchers designing energy-harvesting wireless sensors

Researchers at the Australian National University are getting closer to harvesting renewable energy from mobile phone base stations to power battery-operated wireless sensors.

According to lead researcher Dr Salman Durrani from the ANU Research School of Engineering, wireless sensors used in many different applications use batteries, which are difficult to replace.

“If we can develop battery-less sensors and instead have sensors powered by energy harvesting from the ambient environment then we will solve a major problem,” said Durrani in a comment to ZDNet.

According to the researcher however, the issue with harvesting energy is that there will inevitably be delays in the powering of sensors using harvested energy due to the time it will take to accumulate the necessary amount of energy. Therefore, he along with others at ANU have taken the first step in addressing this problem by modelling the amount of energy it takes to sense and transfer information using wireless sensors.

The researchers plan to develop prototype sensors to be deployed in practical applications, however this is still a few years away. Durrani believes that these new sensors could make long-lasting monitoring devices for a wide range of industries.

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