• Radio frequency energy harvesting for autonomous systems

      Ivanov, Ivan (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2018-04)
      Radio Frequency Energy Harvesting (RFEH) is a technology which enables wireless power delivery to multiple devices from a single energy source. The main components of this technology are the antenna and the rectifying circuitry that converts the RF signal into DC power. The devices which are using Radio Frequency (RF) power may be integrated into Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN), Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), biomedical implants, Internet of Things (IoT), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), smart meters, telemetry systems and may even be used to charge mobile phones. Aside from autonomous systems such as WSNs and RFID, the multi-billion portable electronics market – from GSM phones to MP3 players – would be an attractive application for RF energy harvesting if the power requirements are met. To investigate the potential for ambient RFEH, several RF site surveys were conducted around London. Using the results from these surveys, various harvesters were designed and tested for different frequency bands from the RF sources with the highest power density within the Medium Wave (MW), ultra- and super-high (UHF and SHF) frequency spectrum. Prototypes were fabricated and tested for each of the bands and proved that a large urban area around Brookmans park radio centre is suitable location for harvesting ambient RF energy. Although the RFEH offers very good efficiency performance, if a single antenna is considered, the maximum power delivered is generally not enough to power all the elements of an autonomous system. In this thesis we present techniques for optimising the power efficiency of the RFEH device under demanding conditions such as ultra-low power densities, arbitrary polarisation and diverse load impedances. Subsequently, an energy harvesting ferrite rod rectenna is designed to power up a wireless sensor and its transmitter, generating dedicated Medium Wave (MW) signals in an indoor environment. Harvested power management, application scenarios and practical results are also presented.