Energy Harvesting for Water Monitoring

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bath
Department Name: Electronic and Electrical Engineering


There is a need to monitor the quality of water in rivers and pipelines, and this is often achieved using a variety of sensors that measure pH and composition. The deployment of a wide range of sensors to form a sensor network often needs the provision of electrical power for data transmission and sensors that can operate continuously for long periods. This often makes it difficult to deploy such systems in remote locations, since batteries need to be replaced or sensors need to be recalibrated. This research will involve the development of a 'battery free' and low maintenance system to provide a self-powered water quality monitoring tool. High-performance piezoelectric energy harvesters will be explored to efficiently and durably transform the kinetic energy in water flow to electrical power. This will involve the development of piezoelectric materials and composites for energy harvesting, in particular for harvesting water flow. Based on this, a demonstrator device that combines the harvester, sensors, and data transmission will be produced. It will be further examined how to enable the water sensor (coupled to the energy harvesting power supply) to remain accurate and functional for longer periods. The piezoelectric energy harvester can be used to support the transmission of water sensor data via short range or LoRa (Long Range) digital wireless data communication technology. The self-powered water quality monitoring system can provide a continuous and long-term assessment of water in rivers and pipelines. This research is funded by NERC GW4+ DTP and will bring environmental benefits. The provided piezoelectric energy harvester will take advantage of renewable energy in water flow. And the developed self-powered monitoring system will contribute to the water quality assessment and improvement.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
NE/S007504/1 30/09/2019 30/11/2027
2598663 Studentship NE/S007504/1 30/09/2021 30/03/2025 Zihe LI