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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2017, Article ID 7264703, 7 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/7264703
Research Article

Read Range Enhancement of a Sensing RFID Tag by Photovoltaic Panel

1ECsens, CITIC-UGR, Departamento de Electrónica y Tecnología de Computadores, ETSIIT University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain
2Institute for Nanoelectronics, Technische Universität München, 80333 Munich, Germany
3Life Supporting Technologies (LifeSTech), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), 28040 Madrid, Spain

Correspondence should be addressed to J. Fernández-Salmerón; ed.mut@noremlas.fj

Received 9 February 2017; Accepted 26 April 2017; Published 23 May 2017

Academic Editor: Pietro Siciliano

Copyright © 2017 B. Molina-Farrugia 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.

Abstract

An RFID tag with energy harvesting and sensing capabilities is presented in this paper. This RFID tag is based on an integrated circuit (SL900A) that incorporates a sensor front-end interface capable of measuring voltages, currents, resistances, and capacitances. The aim of this work is to improve the communication distance from the reader to the tag using energy harvesting techniques. Once the energy source and harvester are chosen according to the environment of work, the conditioning circuit for energy management has to be appropriately designed with respect to the nature of the transductor. As a proof of concept, a photovoltaic panel is used in this work to collect the energy from the environment that is managed by a DC-DC converter and stored in a capacitor acting as battery. Such energy is used to support the power system of the tag, giving autonomy to the device and allowing data logging. In particular, the developed tag monitors the ambient temperature and the power voltage. It would be possible to add external sensors without changing the architecture. An increase in the read range of more than 200% is demonstrated. This feature is especially interesting in environments where the access could be difficult.