Self-Powered IPV6 Wireless Sensor Network Debuts

In June in Munich, Germany, a wireless sensor network running on harvested energy was demonstrated by Dust Networks (www.dustnetworks.com), the Hayward, Calif. maker of SmartMesh intelligent wireless sensor network solutions.

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Speaking before the event, Brenda Glaze, vice president of sales and marketing, said, “For the first time anywhere, all of the nodes in the network, including the IPv6 routing nodes, will run on energy harvested from a variety of devices.” Those devices included the Micropelt TE-Power thermogenerator and the Cymbet EnerChip CC rechargeable solid-state battery, which is trickle-charged by an off-the-shelf, daylight-powered solar collector.

Steve Grady, vice president of marketing for Cymbet Corp. (www.cymbet.com), Elk River, Minn., said that by combining EnerChip solid-state energy storage solutions with Dust Network’s Eterna technology, Cymbet’s customers are able to deploy completely self-powered wireless sensor networks. “The overall power requirement is so much lower than with competing wireless products that this is a maintenance-free, extremely compact, eco-friendly networking option,” he said.

According to Burkhard Habbe, vice president of business development for Freiburg, Germany based Micropelt GmbH (www.micropelt.com), “The SmartMesh product family provides a unique convergence with energy harvesting because all of their mesh network nodes can run on harvested energy. With the further decreased power requirements of Dust’s new SmartMesh IP technology, we can now run even more applications on thermoharvesters at rather low gradients, eliminating both wires and battery maintenance.”

Kirsten West, principal analyst with West Technology Research Solutions, an independent market research firm, said, “It appears that much of the WSN [wireless sensor network] growth likely in 2011 will be due to market demand for solutions to overall network connectivity and battery-free operational constraints.” 

Grant Gerke, ggerke@automationworld.com

Cymbet Corp. (www.cymbet.com) 

Dust Networks (www.dustnetworks.com)

Micropelt GmbH (www.micropelt.com)

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