Testing and developing energy harvester systems for operation of energy-self-sufficient measurement and control units in drinking water supply

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

In recent years, wireless measurement and control units have become more popular for monitoring water distribution systems in the drinking water supply. Electric power supply for a higher number of devices through fixed connections to the public electrical grid is technically complex and requires large investments. Powering monitoring devices, which are installed in areas where electrical power supply is lacking, is difficult and considerably increases personnel and operational costs due to frequent battery changes. In such cases, harvesting energy from the water distribution systems or the environment would be an attractive option. In this work, an energy-self-sufficient system has been developed to solve these problems. The system transforms, by use of an energy harvester, the kinetic and hydraulic energy of water flow in a pipeline to electrical energy, stores this energy, and uses it via a micro-controller unit for measurements and wireless data transmission to a central server.

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