Harvesting Energy from Tree Trunks

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With the coming advent of smart devices, remote monitoring and long-range radio communication, there has been an increasing interest in alternative power sources and energy harvesting techniques to prolong indefinitely the smart devices life. One of these alternatives is to take advantage of the Seebeck effect, a natural occurring phenomenon by which the temperature difference between two different types of conductive materials produces a slight voltage difference between them. By leveraging the thermal difference between the core and the surface of a tree trunk there may be enough energy to power IoT devices. This paper discusses the design of a thermoelectric generator (TEG) based energy-harvesting module designed to power IoT Sensor networks that uses Xbee/Zigbee RF modules for communication. It shows how the energy harvesting devices are implemented in the field, as well as the discrete components designed for harvesting energy from a tree. It also shows the proposed solution for future experiments.

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2019 International Energy and Sustainability Conference



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