National Instruments has decided to partner with Perpetuum for offering a measurement node network, which would be powered wirelessly eliminating the need for batteries.
Keith Abate, who is the Director of Business Development in Perpetuum has revealed that their company’s vibration energy harvesting technology could help power sensor nodes of National Instruments, by utilizing energy drawn out of the vibrations of the machine which is being monitored by the sensor. Moreover, the very same sensors that could track the vibration levels inside the machines for monitoring the machine’s well being could also derive power from the same vibrations.
Abate has also disclosed that their energy harvesting technology is compatible with National Instruments’ newest node i.e. the NI WSN-3226. For outdoor settings, power could be supplied to the device via a solar energy harvesting system, which would be provided by Solarcraft Power Products. He also mentions that for both cases, technology providers would sell the harvesting system separately, which could then be wired to the sensor nodes.
According to Abate, energy harvesting would prove to be a viable alternative to batteries for the sensor nodes which normally require 9-30 volts power supply, as the lifespan of the sensor nodes would be several decades compared to few years of the batteries. The sensor nodes harvest energy not just for powering the device sensors but also the transmitters which relay the data at preset intervals of time to gateways at 2.4GHz.Though there are several sources for energy harvesting such as wind, solar or thermal energy, Perpetuum’s electromagnetic micro-generator utilizes a common byproduct of machinery used in industrial settings and generates around 3 to 10 V power from vibrations of the machine to which it is connected to.