On battery recovery effect in wireless sensor nodes

Swaminathan Narayanaswamy, Steffen Schlueter, Sebastian Steinhorst, Martin Lukasiewycz, Samarjit Chakraborty, Harry Ernst Hoster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

With the perennial demand for longer runtime of battery-powered Wireless Sensor Nodes (WSNs), several techniques have been proposed to increase the battery runtime. One such class of techniques exploiting the battery recovery effect phenomenon claims that performing an intermittent discharge instead of a continuous discharge will increase the usable battery capacity. Several works in the areas of embedded systems and wireless sensor networks have assumed the existence of this recovery effect and proposed different power management techniques in the form of power supply architectures (multiple battery setup) and communication protocols (burst mode transmission) in order to exploit it. However, until now, a systematic experimental evaluation of the recovery effect has not been performed with real battery cells, using high-accuracy battery testers to confirm the existence of this recovery phenomenon. In this article, a systematic evaluation procedure is developed to verify the existence of this battery recovery effect. Using our evaluation procedure, we investigated Alkaline, Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH), and Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery chemistries, which are commonly used as power supplies for Wireless Sensor Node (WSN) applications. Our experimental results do not show any evidence of the aforementioned recovery effect in these battery chemistries. In particular, our results show a significant deviation from the stochastic battery models, which were used by many power management techniques. Therefore, the existing power management approaches that rely on this recovery effect do not hold in practice. Instead of a battery recovery effect, our experimental results show the existence of the rate capacity effect, which is the reduction of usable battery capacity with higher discharge power, to be the dominant electrochemical phenomenon that should be considered for maximizing the runtime of WSN applications. We outline power management techniques that minimize the rate capacity effect in order to obtain a higher energy output from the battery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number60
JournalACM Transactions on Design Automation of Electronic Systems
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2016

Keywords

  • Batteries
  • Battery modeling
  • Battery-operated electronics
  • Power management
  • Recovery effect
  • Wireless sensor nodes

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