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Smart Structures and Systems
  Volume 10, Number 3, September 2012, pages 299-312

Energy harvesting and power management of wireless sensors for structural control applications in civil engineering
Sara Casciati, Lucia Faravelli and Zhicong Chen

    The authors\' research efforts recently led to the development of a customized wireless control unit which receives the real-time feedbacks from the sensors, and elaborates the consequent control signal to drive the actuator(s). The controller is wireless in performing the data transmission task, i.e., it receives the signals from the sensors without the need of installing any analogue cable connection between them, but it is powered by wire. The actuator also needs to be powered by wire. In this framework, the design of a power management unit is of interest only for the wireless sensor stations, and it should be adaptable to different kind of sensor requirements in terms of voltage and power consumption. In the present paper, the power management efficiency is optimized by taking into consideration three different kinds of accelerometers, a load cell, and a non-contact laser displacement sensor. The required voltages are assumed to be provided by a power harvesting solution where the energy is stored into a capacitor.
Key Words
    wireless sensor; structural control; power harvesting; power management; frequency division multiplexing
Sara Casciati : Department DICA, University of Catania, piazza Federico di Svevia, 96100 Siracusa, Italy
Lucia Faravelli and Zhicong Chen : Department DICAR, University of Pavia, Via Ferrata 1, 27100 Pavia, Italy

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