Archive for the ‘Wireless Sensors’ Category

Building better M2M devices through antenna optimization

July 25th, 2012


“The process of building a better M2M (machine-to-machine) device - one that not only fits the application scenario but also performs well in the field - starts with choosing the right antenna.”

“This article discusses the important process of antenna selection, how to incorporate antennas in M2M devices and the recipe for connectivity success.”


Antenna selection is even more important for RF-based wireless power transmission as communication receivers have significantly better RF sensitivity than RF harvesting receivers

Energy Harvesting, Wireless Sensors, wireless power , ,

PWST and High Function RFID

June 6th, 2012

The embedded slides were presented by Powercast at the Sensors Expo in Chicago on June 6, 2012. The presentation covers how RF power harvesting enables passive wireless sensor tags (PWST) and high-function RFID. What is high-function RFID? There’s no official definition, but view it as a class of devices that uses RFID for communications but also includes numerous other components for advanced functionality. The additional components may require significantly more power than is available from a regular RFID chip, and a battery may not be desired. RF power harvesting from and RFID reader can provide the extra power needed for these devices.

Energy Harvesting, Wireless Sensors, wireless power , ,

EE Times 20 Hot Technologies for 2012

December 23rd, 2011


EE Times has recently release a list of their selected 20 Hot Technologies for 2012:

2. Wireless Sensor Networks
3. Internet of Things
4. Plastic Electronics
5. Near-Field Communications (NFC)
6. Printed Electronics
7. Energy Harvesting
8. Graphene
9. Next-generation non-volatile memory
10. Processors
11. Graphics and GPGPU
12. EUV Lithography
13. Solar conversion
14. White space radio
15. LTE
16. 40/100 Gbit/second Ethernet
17. Mobile OSes with Android
19. Smart grid technologies
20. 3-D ICs

Energy Harvesting, Wireless Sensors

Wireless Charging and Energy Harvesting among Top 50 Tech Trends

October 14th, 2011

Frost & Sullivan has recently released a report detailing the Top 50 Tech Trends.  Included among them are Wireless Sensors, Energy Harvesting, and Wireless Charging.

techvision-2020Read more…

Energy Harvesting, Wireless Sensors, wireless power , ,

RF Energy Harvesting Perpetually Powers Wireless Sensors

July 31st, 2011


Both ECN and Wireless Design & Development (WD&D) have published a recent article by Powercast titled “RF energy Harvesting Perpetually Powers Wireless Sensors”, which looks at using broadcasted RF energy as a reliable long-term power source for battery-less wireless sensors.

Read more at EDN | Read more at WD&D


Energy Harvesting, Wireless Sensors , , , , , ,

RFID Journal reviews Powercast’s Battery-less Wireless Sensor System

May 18th, 2011


An article in RFID Journal recently reviewed the Powercast Lifetime Power Wireless Sensor System which has battery-less wireless sensors (passive wireless sensor tags) powered by RF energy.

Powercast Corp. is marketing active RFID sensor tags that harvest power from RF signals. The system includes an RF transmitter that provides power signals to sensor tags, and a gateway that receives information transmitted by those tags. The company’s focus is on developing solutions for the wireless transmission of sensor data, such as what is required by data centers. In this case, rather than using wired sensors or traditional active RFID tags to send sensor data regarding a room’s conditions, the Powercast system simply uses continuous RF signals to charge a battery or capacitor built into a sensor tag. The solution, known as the Lifetime Power Wireless Sensor System, targets the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) sector, as well as other building-controls industries, by providing a solution for acquiring data from sensors for heating and air-conditioning, lighting controls, access controls or other building automation.

Read more…

Energy Harvesting, Wireless Sensors, wireless power , , , ,

Powercast Releases Battery-less, Wireless-powered Sensor System for Building and Industrial Automation

April 20th, 2011

Powercast has released a battery-less, wirelessly-powered sensor system for building and industrial automation - the Lifetime Power® Wireless Sensor System.  The sensor units can be powered at a range of 60-80 feet (18-24 m) from Powercast’s 3W, 915MHz transmitter (TX91501).  The initial sensor unit is for temperature and humidity and is to be followed by other types such as CO2, light, and motion.

Wireless Sensor Node

Powercast Lifetime Power® Wireless Sensor System

The access point (WSG-101 BAS gateway) supports up to 100 sensors and 800 sensor points for large-scale and high-density deployment of sensors.  The sensors are battery-free and operate when sufficient charge is stored to take sensor readings and send a data packet.  Wireless communication from the sensor nodes to the access point is 2.4GHz using industry-standard 802.15.4 radios.  The BAS gateway supports several physical interfaces and a range of BAS protocols to interface with nearly every major type of wired BAS network, including BACnet, Modbus, Metasys N2, and LonWorks.

The system was developed based on the same core technology as the Powercast P2110 Powerharvester receiver and the P2110-EVAL-01 Energy Harvesting Development Kit, both of which are available for other sensor OEMs to embed Powercast’s technology into their own products.

Product PagePress ReleaseProduct Presentation (PDF)

Energy Harvesting, Wireless Sensors, wireless power , , , , ,

Design News Reviews Powercast P2110-EVAL-01 RF Energy Harvesting Development Kit

January 27th, 2011


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.

Product Link | Press Release

Energy Harvesting, Wireless Sensors, wireless power , , , , , ,

Powercast P2110 Harvests Ambient RF Energy from iPhone for Battery-Free Wireless Sensors

January 6th, 2011

In an earlier post we demonstrated an iPhone powering LEDs in close proximity using Powercast’s RF energy harvesting technology.

The video below demonstrates the use of a standard iPhone in 2G mode to generate RF energy that is used to power a battery-free wireless sensor node. The sensor node is part of Powercast’s Lifetime Power (TM) Energy Harvesting Development Kit for Wireless Senors (P2110-EVAL-01), the receiving board is based on the P2110 Powerharvester Receiver, and the antenna was slightly modified from it’s original tuning for 915MHz.

The wireless sensor node was designed by Powercast and Microchip for ultra-low power operation.  At a distance of 2 feet from the iPhone packets are transmitted from node every every 1-2 seconds.  As this video shows, mobile phones can be a practical, portable source of wireless power for a wide range of applications.

Energy Harvesting, Wireless Sensors, wireless power , , , , ,

Powercast Selected for EDN Hot 100 Products of 2010

December 21st, 2010

EDN Hot 100 Products 2010

Powercast’s TX91501 Powercaster transmitter was selected by EDN for the Hot 100 Products of 2010. This transmitter sends both power and data for remote powering/charging in conjunction with Powercast’s P1110 or P2110 Powerharvester receivers.

Broadcasted RF energy creates a predictable, controllable power source to provide power-over-distance and one-to-many charging.  Unlike potentially unreliable or intermittent solar, heat or vibration micro-power energy sources, the TX91501 transmitter sends power to enable wireless devices to charge and operate completely untethered from the power source, and power can be sent on-demand, scheduled, or continuously.  End-devices can be inherently dormant, with zero-standby power, until power is sent to operate the device, or batteries can be trickle-charged remotely.  The operating distance for wireless power transfer (wireless charging) from the TX91501 transmitter to a device with the P2110 Powerharvester Receiver is about 40 feet with a reasonable size receiving antenna.

EDN Hot 100 Products for 2010

Energy Harvesting, Wireless Sensors, wireless power , , , ,