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29 March 2010 A mechanical battery for powering wireless sensor nodes in harsh environments
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An ability to non-intrusively monitor remote and sealed underground nuclear repositories, using wireless sensor nodes, will be beneficial to the nuclear community and would help alleviate the nuclear waste legacy. The paper will introduce an alternative energy source to a chemical battery that would supply energy to a wireless sensor node such that it can acquire and transmit data about its environment, after a long duration of time. The presented energy source is a 'mechanical battery' which stores mechanical energy and comprises a compressed magnetic suspension mechanism. When this energy is released some of it is converted to electrical energy via electromagnetic induction. The presented model will predict the amount of electrical energy that is generated and stored in an intermediate energy storage medium, a capacitor, before it is supplied to a wireless sensor node. The model is validated against measurements and the supply and operation of a commercial wireless sensor node using a complete prototype system is demonstrated. The complete system comprises the mechanical battery and associated electronics.
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P. Constantinou, C. J. Aird, P. H. Mellor, D. J. Smith, J. D. Booker, P. E. J. Flewitt, and C. E. Truman "A mechanical battery for powering wireless sensor nodes in harsh environments", Proc. SPIE 7645, Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2010, 764504 (29 March 2010);

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