The Gadget Show, a popular show from the UK that focuses on consumer electronics, recently visited Powercast to film our RF Energy Harvesting and wireless power technology in action. We demonstrated several consumer applications, including lighting and ambient RF energy harvesting of power from a mobile phone.
In the photo, Harry Ostaffe (left), Powercast’s Director of Marketing, demonstrates to host Ortis Deley (middle) from The Gadget Show how wireless power based on RF Energy Harvesting can be used to power wireless sensors. We’ll update this post with a link to their footage.
Battery-free wireless sensors can be a reality using RF as the power source. To demonstrate this concept, Powercast has a created prototype battery-free wireless sensor with the temperature sensor board in our Lifetime Power™ Evaluation and Development Kit.
A short clip of the sensor in action is shown below.
The prototype sensor has a dipole receiving antenna and is operating from power being broadcast by a nearby 900MHz band transmitter. The sensor operates continuously when close to the transmitter and intermittently as it is moved further away. The frequency of operation decreases the further it is moved away from the transmitter. For many applications, having the sensor wake-up once a minute to transmit a reading is sufficient.
The LCD driver and display requires much more power than low power RF radios like 802.15.4, ZigBee , ULP WiFi, etc, so radio-enabled sensors will work at an even greater distance than this prototype.
Applications include perpetual, wireless powering of battery-free wireless sensors for commercial buildings, industrial facilities, and process monitoring, or unattended ground sensors for military or surveillance activities that can be activated on-demand.