Implementation and Testing of an Elastic Strain Powered Wireless Sensing System for Energy-Autonomous Applications

Alessandro Giuliano, Vlad Marsic, Meiling Zhu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review


This paper presents implementation and testing of an elastic strain powered wireless sensing system for energy-autonomous applications. The system harvests strain energy from a vibrating structure and convert it into usable electrical energy for powering sensors and a wireless communication node. Typical in-flight vibration frequency and strain levels on the bottom side of the aircraft wing's root were investigated for testing the performance of the system. Major concerns of the implemented system are the amount of harvested power, in the usable range of milliwatts, and the low power consumption energy-flow management for data sensing and transmitting. Such results arise from the use of flexible piezoelectric macro-fiber composite (MFC) bonded as energy generator to both an aluminum and a composite substrate, and from the integration of a new Energy-Aware Interface (EAI). The harvested power is between 0.5-12 mW under low and non-resonant vibrations of 2.5-10 Hz and 480-1170 μstrain peak-to-peak. The waiting time between two consecutive transmissions was measured around 0.4 s under 1170 μstrain peak-to-peak excitation at 10 Hz. Such achievement shows strong capability to approach self-powered continuous monitoring. The system has potential of being used to harvest strain energy from the vibrations of aircraft in active service for powering an on-board wireless sensing node for Structural Health Monitoring (SHM).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE/ACM Int'l Conference on & Int'l Conference on Cyber, Physical and Social Computing (CPSCom) Green Computing and Communications (GreenCom)
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-7695-4865-4
ISBN (Print)978-1-4673-5146-1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event2012 IEEE International Conference on Green Computing and Communications - Besancon, France
Duration: 20 Nov 201223 Nov 2012


Conference2012 IEEE International Conference on Green Computing and Communications
Abbreviated titleGreenCom 2012


  • Sensors
  • strain energy
  • piezoelectric generator;
  • ireless sensor communication node
  • structural health monitoring
  • energy-aware interface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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