Zero power wireless sensors are now available, which bring together new low power wireless ICs with energy harvesters (which harvest energy from heat, light or motion, for example) and the appropriate form of energy storage and conditioning.
Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) could involve billions of sensors which are needed on utility assets, buildings, pollution monitors, traffic control systems, in agriculture and much more but adoption has been hindered by conventional primary batteries, which will eventually need replacing and therefore cannot be fitted and forgotten for a long period.
The Wireless Sensor Networks & RTLS conference and exhibition hosted by IDTechEx in Boston on Nov 15-16 (www.IDTechEx.com/Boston ) will showcase the new energy harvester-powered wireless sensors now available. For example, Microstrain will present on wireless sensing systems powered by thermal, solar and vibration means targeted to a wide range of applications, as will EnOcean, who have created a successful and rapidly growing business targeting building automation. EnOcean will discuss “Limitless Environment for Developing Wireless and Energy Harvesting Devices for Building Automation”.
More info here.