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Temperature Power Harvester

Powering Wireless Sensor Nodes with Ambient Temperature Changes

Power remains a challenge in the widespread deployment of long-lived wireless sensing systems, which has led researchers to consider power harvesting as a potential solution. In this project, we present a thermal power harvester that utilizes naturally changing ambient temperature in the environment as the power source. In contrast to traditional thermoelectric power harvesters, our approach does not require a spatial temperature gradient; instead it relies on temperature fluctuations over time, enabling it to be used freestanding in any environment in which temperature changes throughout the day. We also provide a sensor node design that can transmit sensor data wirelessly, and update a bistable E-ink display.

Lead Researchers: 

Chen Zhao


Sam Yisrael, Joshua R. Smith and Shwetak N. Patel


C. Zhao, Yisrael, S., Smith, J. R., and Patel, S. N., Powering wireless sensor nodes with ambient temperature changes, in The 2014 ACM Conference on Ubiquitous Computing, UbiComp '14, Seattle, WA, USA, September 13-17, 2014, 2014, pp. 383–387.