23 Jul 2024


Tie-up accelerates vibration-powered data gathering

Pertpetuum, the Southampton-based company that specialises in harnessing energy from machine vibrations, has teamed up with Texas Instruments to offer a system for transmitting large amounts of sensor data wirelessly, without needing mains or battery power.

By combining one of Perpetuum’s “energy-harvesting” microgenerators with a TI single-chip 16-bit microcontroller and transceiver, manufacturers can now design battery-free sensor systems suitable even for high-data applications such as condition monitoring.

According to Perpetuum, such a sensor node will be able to transmit 2kb of vibration data over a distance of up to 100m once a minute, powered by just 0.025g of vibration. This level of vibration generates up to 1mW of power.

If the vibration is 1g, the generator will produce around 50mW, allowing the node to measure and transmit data continuously. The node can be configured to transmit small amounts of data – such as temperature readings – frequently, or larger sets of data less frequently, depending on the application.

The ultra-low-power TI chip (the CC2420) transmits on radio frequencies using the IEEE 802.15.4 protocol.

“With an increasing industry demand for wireless sensor systems, battery-free systems are now a reality,” says TI business development manager, Frank Forster. “They offer a reliable source of power, and there are no disposal or maintenance issues.” there are no disposal or maintenance issues.”