Energy harvesting systems for structural health monitoring applications may be described by three stages: ambient energy transduction, electrical power conditioning, and data acquisition and transmission. Recent developments in low-power CMOS devices have allowed for expanded energy harvesting techniques by reducing the total power demand of sensor nodes.
This paper investigates the system-level interaction between a corrosion-based energy harvester and the low-power sensor node to which it is supplying power. An equivalent circuit model of the energy harvester is developed and the matched parameters (source voltage and equivalent series resistance) are used in the design of the power conditioning and wireless transmitter circuitry. Analysis of the power demand from the sensor node is used to determine the optimum data sampling parameters in terms of available supplied power for long-term in-situ sensing operations on a marine structure.