As announced back in October 2010, Powercast released a development kit to showcase using RF energy for remotely powering battery-free wireless sensors. Jon Titus of Design News was gracious enough to review the kit and gave Powercast ratings of 5 out of 5 in all four areas of the review: Ease of Set-up, Quality and Clarity of Documentation, Overall Experience, and Meets Expectations.
The article is titled “Kit Harvests RF Energy” and we appreciate the subtitle “Engineers who must implement low-power devices that cannot run on local power need this kit from Powercast Corp.”
The components in the kit enable wireless and battery-free operation of the sensor nodes at a distance of 40-45 feet (13-15 meters). Each sensor board can measure temperature, humidity, light, and an external sensor. This can be used for a number of applications including building automation, energy management and industrial monitoring. Power is provided by Powercast’s new 3W transmitter (TX91501-3W-ID), which also sends factory-set data. The P2110 Powerharvester receiver converts the RF energy from the receiving antenna and stores it into a capacitor, which is then boosted to operate the wireless sensor board. The Microchip XLP 16-bit Development Board with the 802.15.4 radio is the access point.