Measurement and Validation of Energy Harvesting IoT Devices

Lukas Sigrista, Andres Gomezb, Roman Limc, Stefan Lippunerd, Matthias Leubine and Lothar Thielef
Computer Engineering and Networks Laboratory (TIK), ETH Zurich, Switzerland.


With the appearance of wearable devices and the IoT, energy harvesting nodes are becoming more and more important. The design and evaluation of these small standalone sensors and actuators, which harvest limited amounts of energy, requires novel tools and methods. Fast and accurate measurement systems are required to capture the rapidly changing harvesting scenarios and characterize leakage currents and energy efficiencies. The need for real-world experiments creates a demand for compact and portable equipment to perform in-situ power measurements and environmental logging. This work presents the ROCKETLOGGER, a hand-held measurement device that combines both properties: portability and accuracy. The custom analog front-end allows logging at sampling rates up to 64 kSPS. The fast range switching within 1:4 ms guarantees continuous power measurements starting from 4pW at 1mV up to 2:75W at 5:5V. The software provides remote control and manages data acquisition of up to 13Mb= sec in real-time. We extensively characterize the ROCKETLOGGER's performance, demonstrate the need for its properties in three use-cases at different stages of the system design flow, and show its advantages in measuring and validating new harvesting-driven devices for the IoT.

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