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International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 934240, 12 pages
Research Article

Remaining Energy-Level-Based Transmission Power Control for Energy-Harvesting WSNs

Institute of Computer Application Technology, Hangzhou Dianzi University, Hangzhou 310018, China

Received 24 November 2011; Accepted 18 March 2012

Academic Editor: Jiming Chen

Copyright © 2012 Guojun Dai et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The purpose of this paper is to introduce a transmission power control scheme based on the remaining energy level and the energy-harvesting status of individual sensor nodes to extend the overall lifetime of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) and balance the energy usage. Ambient energy harvesting has been introduced as a promising technique to solve the energy constraint problem of WSNs. However, considering the tiny equipment and the inherent low and unbalanced harvesting capability due to environmental issues, there is still a long distance from perfectly solving the problem. In this paper, a wind and solar power joint-harvested WSN system has been demonstrated, which uses ultracapacitor as energy storage. By analyzing the power recharging, leakage, and energy consumption rate, a novel energy-level-based transmission power control scheme (EL-TPC) is produced. In EL-TPC scheme, the transmission power is classified into various levels according to the remaining energy level. By adapting the nodes' operation pattern, hierarchical network architecture can be formed, which prioritizes the use of high energy level, fast charging nodes to save the energy of uncharged nodes. The simulation and demonstration results show that EL-TPC scheme can significantly balance the energy consumption and extend the entire network lifetime.