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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 815467, 20 pages
Review Article

Harvesting Ambient Environmental Energy for Wireless Sensor Networks: A Survey

School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, China University of Mining & Technology, Xuzhou, Jiangsu 221116, China

Received 18 March 2014; Accepted 12 May 2014; Published 12 June 2014

Academic Editor: Ignacio R. Matias

Copyright © 2014 Gongbo Zhou 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.


In recent years, wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have grown dramatically and made a great progress in many applications. But having limited life, batteries, as the power sources of wireless sensor nodes, have restricted the development and application of WSNs which often requires a very long lifespan for better performance. In order to make the WSNs prevalent in our lives, an alternative energy source is required. Environmental energy is an attractive power source, and it provides an approach to make the sensor nodes self-powered with the possibility of an almost infinite lifetime. The goal of this survey is to present a comprehensive review of the recent literature on the various possible energy harvesting technologies from ambient environment for WSNs.