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IEEE SENSORS JOURNAL, VOL. 15, NO. 2, FEBRUARY 2015

A Low-Power Wireless Sensor for


Online Ambient Monitoring
Silviu C. Folea, Member, IEEE, and George Mois, Member, IEEE

Abstract This paper presents the development of a compact


battery-powered system that monitors the carbon dioxide level,
temperature, relative humidity, absolute pressure, and intensity of
light in indoor spaces, and that sends the measurement data using
the existent wireless infrastructure based on the IEEE 802.11 b/g
standards. The resulted devices characteristics and performance
are comparable with the ones provided by recognized solutions,
such as ZigBee-based sensor nodes. By combining Wi-Fi connectivity with ambient sensors, this solution can be used for the
remote gathering and further processing of measurement data.
Testing revealed that the system can operate continuously for up
to three years on a single 3 V small battery.
Index Terms Sensor systems, wireless sensor networks, reconfigurable architectures, Internet.

I. I NTRODUCTION

NDOOR air quality (IAQ) represents an important factor


affecting the comfort, the health and also the safety of
building occupants. IAQ problems lead to a set of symptoms,
including headaches, dizziness, difficulties in concentration
and others, referred to as sick building syndrome (SBS).
Basic measurements, such as temperature, relative humidity
and CO2 , can provide information useful in solving such
problems [1]. The present paper presents the development of
a compact battery-powered system, that monitors the temperature, relative humidity, the carbon dioxide level, the absolute
pressure and the intensity of light in indoor spaces, and
that sends the measurement data using the existent wireless
infrastructure based on the IEEE 802.11 b/g standards. This
provides the possibility of the remote gathering and further
processing of data from a large number of such wireless sensing systems. Furthermore, by combining wireless connectivity
with ambient sensors, this solution can be used for reducing
the overall energy consumption of an entire building [2].
The characteristics of the developed device, namely reduced
dimensions, low power consumption, high flexibility and
robustness, make it suitable for its use as a node in a wireless
sensor network (WSN) or in an Internet of Things (IoT)
scenario. The reduced energy profile is achieved by the use
of a low power core microcontroller, and of an nondispersive
Manuscript received June 20, 2014; accepted August 12, 2014. Date of
publication August 22, 2014; date of current version November 20, 2014.
The associate editor coordinating the review of this paper and approving it
for publication was Dr. M. R. Yuce.
The authors are with the Department of Automation, Faculty of
Automation and Computer Science, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca,
Cluj-Napoca
400114, Romania (e-mail: silviu.folea@aut.utcluj.ro;
george.mois@aut.utcluj.ro).
Color versions of one or more of the figures in this paper are available
online at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/JSEN.2014.2351420

infrared sensor (NDIR) for CO2 measurements, having the


lowest power consumption on the market. The temperature
and relative humidity sensor has a power consumption that is
comparable to the one of the gas sensor (1 mA), while the
other attached sensors, measuring pressure and light intensity,
are less power hungry than these, consuming 5 A and
0.24 mA, respectively. Moreover, a Wi-Fi module with an
advanced API software, named WiFly, which allows efficient
power management, was chosen for data transmission. These,
combined with suitable power saving strategies, and depending
on preset measurement rates, lead to the achievement of a
battery life between one month and several years. Although the
acquired ambient data can be displayed locally on the attached
LCD, for testing the most probable usage scenario, they were
visualised using a commercial solution, provided by Xively,
a Public Cloud for the Internet of Things [3].
The use of gas sensors in general, and of CO2 sensors,
in particular, in small battery powered devices was not possible
until recently because of their large power consumption and
dimensions. The low power NDIR sensors field is at the
beginning, with the Cozir Ambient CO2 sensor dominating
the market. The solution presented in this paper employs this
sensor, achieving satisfactory accuracy and battery lifetime.
The other attached sensors, namely the ones measuring temperature and relative humidity, pressure and light intensity, do
not pose as many problems as the CO2 sensor and can be
efficiently included in a portable device. As far as the authors
know, there are no other devices with the same performance
and features.
Several solutions are presented in the literature or are
present on the market, but they provide a limited set of
functionalities and a reduced number of attached sensors.
A similar device represents the subject of paper [4], but
the power consumption here is not calculated. Based on the
analysis of the used chips and on the general description, the
design in this case cannot achieve low power consumption
and, therefore, the device cannot be a mobile one. Another
solution, this time closer to the one presented here, comes
from the company Point SixTM , and employs an NDIR sensor
and Wi-Fi connectivity [5]. However, this system does not
include humidity, atmospheric pressure and light measurement
capabilities. The third monitoring system is a self-powered one
and is developed by EnOcean Alliance [6]. It is also based on
the Cozir sensor, but it allows only a reduced number of
measurement rates, between 9 and 2 per hour, depending on
light intensity. The device presented in this paper is a small
battery powered ambient (temperature, relative humidity, CO2 ,
absolute pressure and light intensity) wireless sensor allowing

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FOLEA AND MOIS: LOW-POWER WIRELESS SENSOR FOR ONLINE AMBIENT MONITORING

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Fig. 2.
Fig. 1.

Ambient sensor front view.

measurement rates between one and 60 samples per hour.


When taking a single measurement per hour, it can run for
up to three years without requiring maintenance. The tests
showed a battery lifetime of up to three years, comparable
with the one of the device presented in paper [7], based on
802.15.4/ZigBee communication, which consumes less energy
than Wi-Fi.
The rest of the paper is structured as follows. Section II
presents the hardware architecture of the developed wireless
sensor, highlighting the system components and their features.
Section III details the software architecture of the application
running on the device, along with several usage scenarios. The
specification of message components and some examples of
sent values are also given here. Section IV presents the power
consumption of the entire system, along with scenarios and
mechanisms for reducing it, while the final section gives the
concluding remarks.
II. H ARDWARE A RCHITECTURE
A. General Overview
The developed ambient wireless sensor, shown in Figure 1,
is a stand-alone device, which measures the CO2 level in
the air, the temperature, humidity, absolute pressure and light
intensity and which sends the acquired information using the
IEEE 802.11 b/g standards to a preset IP address. The acquired
data can be displayed locally on an LCD with backlight,
showing text on 2 rows and 16 columns, by pressing a button,
or at a remote location, by using a specialized application or a
web page. The Internet of Things scenario offers the possibility
of remotely visualizing numerical and graphical values over
time, setting triggers, sending short text messages using the
Short Message Service (SMS) in case of alarms triggering and
so on. All these alarms and triggers are implemented in the
software running on a remote computer used for data gathering
and visualization.
B. Internal Structure
The devices core is represented by a PSoC 3, a programmable system on chip microcontroller. This is the central part
of the ambient sensor, initiating all the main actions that have
to be performed for its proper operation. The components
that make up the system can be divided, in the same way as

Wireless sensor hardware architecture.

for a wireless sensor node in a wireless sensor network, into


four main groups: the sensing unit, the processing and storage
unit, the transceiver and the power supply. The sensing unit
consists of a CozirTM CO2 Ambient Sensor, a DHT22 digital
temperature and humidity sensor, an MPL115A2 barometer
sensor and a TSL2561 light sensor. The sensors were chosen
to respect satisfactory range and accuracy requirements, while
achieving the smallest power consumption. Another important
criterion was represented by the cost of the sensors, a reasonable price being achieved for small quantities. This makes
the system very competitive and suitable for mass-production.
The processing and storage unit is represented by the core
microcontroller, while data transmission is implemented by the
RN-131C/G wireless LAN module, from Roving Networks.
A 3 V CR123A battery and a DC/DC converter form the
power supply unit. The architecture is presented in Figure 2,
where the main components of the measurement system are
highlighted. As it can be seen in Figures 2 and 3, all the
sensors are attached to the core microcontroller and operate at
the same time.
C. The PSoC 3 Core
The advances in semiconductor industry, the smaller process
technologies and the maximized circuit densities lead to a continuously increasing number of System-on-Chip solutions in
a large number of applications. These circuits integrate signal
acquisition and conversion functions, data storage and processing capabilities and I/O, providing significant advantages, the
most important consisting in low power consumption, reduced
dimensions and low costs. By including a wide range of
system components into the chip, the number of parts on the
printed circuit board (PCB) is reduced, directly affecting the
power consumption and production costs of the digital system.
Such a device is the PSoC, the acronym for programmable
system on chip, produced by Cypress Semiconductor [8].
It integrates discrete analog and programmable logic along
with memory and a microcontroller, being suitable for the
design of embedded systems. These are the reasons why
a PSoC 3 microcontroller, namely CY8C3246PVI-147, was
chosen as the data processing unit of the wireless sensor
presented in this paper. It has an 8-bit single cycle pipelined
8051 processor running at 24 MHz, as core, 64 kB of flash
memory, an 8 kB SRAM and an on-chip EEPROM for
storing nonvolatile data. This chip was chosen because it

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offers enough memory for implementing the application. The


program occupies 62% of flash memory and 3.5% of SRAM.
D. Wireless Module
A standalone embedded wireless 802.11 b/g networking
module, the RN-131C/G Wireless LAN Module from Roving
Networks, was chosen for sending measurement data through
UDP to a specific IP address [9]. The transmission mechanism
along with the message format will be presented in Section III.
The sensors Wi-Fi communication capability makes use of
the existent wireless infrastructure and provides high transfer
rates even when encryption is employed (WPA2), but it also
limits the battery lifetime because of the increased power
consumption. This effect was countered by the use of several
mechanisms for reducing the power consumption of the entire
system.
E. CO2 , Temperature and Humidity Sensors
The ultra low power CozirTM CO2 Ambient Sensor, specially developed for battery powered applications, was selected
for measuring the carbon dioxide level in the air. It can
measure CO2 concentrations between 0 and 2000 ppm. Its
average power consumption is less than 3.5 mW, but the power
supply of the measurement system must generate a peak of
33 mA for a short period of time. The noise is higher than
50 ppm, but by activating the digital filter, so that an average
between 2 . . . 32 instant measurements is computed, its value
can be attenuated. There is also a drawback to this action,
the filter value affecting the warm-up period of the sensor,
3 to 32 seconds being necessary for allowing the response
to reach a final value. This period has an impact over the
overall power consumption profile and the user must carefully
choose an appropriate filter value. The atmospheric pressure
is one of the factors affecting CO2 monitoring and altitude
compensation is required. It can be set manually in the system
configuration step or it can be computed depending on the
information given by the absolute pressure sensor.
Another important issue that has to be addressed is the
auto-calibration routine because carbon-dioxide sensors are
widely used as part of demand-control ventilation (DCV)
systems. Therefore, the performance of the CO2 sensors can
significantly affect energy use as well as indoor air quality in
these cases. Overestimation of the CO2 concentration leads to
increased outdoor air usage and increased energy costs, while
underestimation may lead to poor IAQ and SBS [10]. Fresh air
calibration is implemented by the core microcontroller, since
the CO2 sensor is powered down after each reading. This is
performed at intervals specified by the user in the measurement
system configuration phase, and can also be disabled if desired.
The operating environment in which the system operates is
of great importance also, because testing revealed that the
carbon dioxide sensing component is very sensitive to the
dew point, where the digital output can decrease down to
zero.
The temperature and relative humidity values are acquired
by a very low cost digital temperature and humidity sensor,
the DHT22. It consists of several electronic components on

IEEE SENSORS JOURNAL, VOL. 15, NO. 2, FEBRUARY 2015

a small PCB, encased in a plastic box: a capacitive humidity


sensor, a 10 kohms thermistor as the temperature transducer
and a small package microcontroller, STM8S103F3, used for
signal processing. This sensors accuracy is acceptable in many
applications with values of 2 % (with a maximum of 5 %)
for humidity and of 0.5 C for temperature. The power
consumption value is 1 mA in active mode and 40 A in
sleep mode. This high value during sleep mode is one of the
reasons for implementing a separate power supply for sensors,
which can be switched off by the central processing unit. The
temperature and humidity ranges are given by the CO2 sensors
specifications, its operation conditions allowing temperatures
between 0C and 50C and relative humidities between 0%
and 95% (non-condensing).
F. Absolute Pressure and Light Sensors
An absolute pressure sensor, MPL115A2, with an I2 C
interface, was chosen for measuring the atmospheric pressure
and for compensating the CO2 deviation, if required. The
initial accuracy is of 1 kPa, which translates to an error
of approximately 100 m in altitude. The absolute pressure
range of this sensor is between 50 kPa and 115 kPa. The
power consumption is 5 A in active mode and only 1 A in
shutdown mode.
The light sensor, TSL2561, which also communicates
through an I2 C interface, was chosen for determining the light
intensity. In this case, the power consumption is 0.24 mA in
active mode and 3.2 A in power down mode. The need for
polling the sensor can be removed by programming it with
an interrupt function. The sensor outputs a digital value from
which illuminance, or the ambient light level, in lux is derived
using an empirical formula to approximate the human eye
response.
G. Sensors Power Supply and Reverse Battery Protection
The power consumption in sleep mode for all the sensors
does not allow a long battery utilization period. This is why
a separate power supply was developed and included in the
design. The chip used offers an output disconnected from the
input, high efficiency while using small amounts of power, a
range up to 140 mA at +3.3 V, from an 1.8 V input, and
a current consumption in shutdown mode, which is lower
than 1 A. All these characteristics maximize the lifetime
of the battery in mobile applications. A CR123A 3 V lithium
battery represents the main power supply. A reverse protection
is implemented for accomplishing safe operation even when
changing the battery. This type of battery has a capacity of
1500 mAh and is only slightly influenced by temperature
variations and by loads [11].
H. PCB
The devices PCB (Fig. 3) is double sided, all components
being populated on the top layer; the bottom layer is used
only for traces and for the ground plane. The components
that make up the user interface and that can be accessed
by the users, namely the LCD, the buttons and the LED,

FOLEA AND MOIS: LOW-POWER WIRELESS SENSOR FOR ONLINE AMBIENT MONITORING

Fig. 3.

Wireless sensor printed circuit board.

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interface (Fig. 1) pressed. Configuration is performed through


the serial interface, by using an RS232 cable. The menu allows
entering and displaying the parameters needed for the correct
operation of the measurement system. These consist of the
period between measurements, which can be set to have a
value between one minute and 60 minutes; the information
for connecting to wireless LANs, namely the channel used,
the SSIDs and passwords; the data server information, which
includes the server port, IP, gateway and the subnet mask; the
node IP and the CO2 sensors data. The latter is composed
of filter value, altitude value and number of days for autocalibration using fresh air, if this feature is activated. The next
step is the configuration of the RN-131C/G wireless module
by the core microcontroller using the data previously set and
saved in the EEPROM. Communication with this component
is performed serially, using the UART. WiFly commands that
make the Wi-Fi module automatically connect to a specific
access point and act as a pipe sending serial information over
UDP, when reset, are sent. After these actions are completed,
the period values are set in such a way that a first measurement
is taken when entering the main application loop. The button
on the interface has a single functionality here, namely the
display of the last values read by the attached sensors. For
minimizing the power consumption, the LCD, the sensors and
the Wi-Fi module are powered only when they need to perform
actions. After each measurement, the Wi-Fi module is woken
up, and specially formatted messages are sent to the previously
set IP address.
The other important action performed inside the application
main loop is the CO2 sensor auto-calibration, taking place
at previously set time intervals (after days of continuous
operation), using fresh air. During this action, the sensors
fresh air concentration value, considered to be 400 ppm,
is replaced with the minimum recorded value, provided the
fact that it had sensed fresh air at some point in time.
A. Usage Scenarios

Fig. 4.

Software application flow diagram.

are accessible from outside. Special attention was paid to


creating a PCB as compact as possible, ensuring that all of
the sensors are exposed correctly and that ease of access for
connecting programming and configuration cables is provided.
III. S OFTWARE A RCHITECTURE
The block diagram of the main routines that make up the
wireless sensor firmware is presented in Figure 4.
Its main component is represented by the main loop, where
all the sensors are powered up and read, and data messages
are sent using UDP. When it is first used, the wireless
sensor needs to be configured. This action is initiated by
powering up or resetting the device with the button on the

Every ambiental sensor is associated to an AP and can


measure the received signal strength indicator (RSSI) for
determining if the network is proper for communication with
low energy costs. It is possible that from time to time the
sensor scans the network, trying to determine whether an AP
is closer than the one to which it is associated. If the result
is favourable, the sensor will associate to a closer AP in case
it has the required security data stored in the EEPROM. This
scenario also applies when the sensor tries to associate to an
AP for a predetermined number of times and fails, leading to
the conclusion that the access point is no longer active
One of the most common applications employing wireless
sensors is represented by wireless sensor networks (WSNs).
These consist of a large number of sensor nodes, communicating in a wireless fashion among each other or to an
external base-station [12]. The first field where they had
been used and where the potential is huge is represented by
environmental monitoring, this being the primary purpose of
deploying sensor networks [12]. Other domains include, but
are not limited to military, health, home and other commercial

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IEEE SENSORS JOURNAL, VOL. 15, NO. 2, FEBRUARY 2015

Fig. 5.

Sensors in a wireless sensor network.

Fig. 7. Front panel and block diagram of the application implemented in


LabVIEWTM .

Fig. 6.

Data visualization using web application.

applications [13], [14]. By satisfying the requirements for


use in WSNs, namely low cost, low power consumption,
multifunctionality, small dimensions and wireless communication capabilities, the sensor presented in this paper represents
a wireless sensor node (Fig. 5).
Recently, a new generation of digital systems, called cyberphysical systems (CPSs) [15], emerged. These use a wide
range of sensors for collecting information about the physical
world and exploit the information collected by WSNs to bridge
real and cyber spaces [16]. Furthermore, the vision of Internet
of Things calls for connectivity not only to consumer electronics and home appliances, but also to small battery powered
devices which cannot be recharged [17]. The device presented
in this paper can operate as an active component in CPSs or
in the IoT. In this direction and for validating the proposed
solution, an application running on a personal computer was
developed. This gets data from the device and sends them to
a web application server for public display (Fig. 6).
The site presenting the measured data is www.xively.com,
a Public Cloud for the Internet of Things, which displays
data from sensors connected to the Internet from around the
world [3]. The software for displaying the data is unchained,
residing on the Internet. The data from the sensors are
processed by a LabVIEWTM application running on a PC or a

server and are sent to the Xively web-site. For being correctly
interpreted by the web-site, the data have to be bundled
into an EEML (Extended Environments Markup Language)
script. The advantage of using an application running on a
PC consists in the ability to read data from multiple devices
and to send a reduced number of packets to the Internet
without performing a large number of accesses. For a low cost
solution, the server and the application that runs on the server
can be omitted, including the enclosing of the data in an proper
format into the sensor. This scenario has a major disadvantage,
the use of the TCP/IP protocol, which leads to an increase in
the overall power consumption. An advantage of the solution
presented in Figure 7 is the fact that data preprocessing takes
place in the application, the firmware being simplified, and the
connections with the Internet being reduced.
B. Data Transmission
The Wi-Fi standard was chosen for communication because
the number of sensors used in the scenario of indoor environmental monitoring is not large and there is no need for
complex routing protocols. The access point, or the router,
covers, in this case, the entire area of the house and the
wireless sensor nodes can associate and send messages directly
to it. Furthermore, environmental sensors do not have critical
real time constraints which can be met only by protocols
such as ISA100 or WirelessHART. The major advantage of
using Wi-Fi technology consists in the use of the existing
infrastructure, which can be found in almost every home,
where Internet connectivity or digital television is present.
The major disadvantage lies in the increased power consumption, which directly influences the node lifetime. However, as the next section will show, this drawback can be
overcome.
The protocol chosen for data transmission is UDP, instead
of TCP/IP, offering lower package sizes, increased speeds, low

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TABLE I
M ESSAGE C OMPONENTS

Fig. 8.

latency and connectionless communication. The messages consist of fixed-size numerical codes, which are called operation
codes or opcodes. These describe the settings of the sensor or
measurement results. As it can be seen in Table I, the opcodes
represent pairs of hexadecimal numbers associated to a specific
function, with the first element being the function code, and
the second its associated value. For avoiding overhearing
problems, an unidirectional scheme was chosen, the device
only sending short messages separated by the specified interval [18]. Because household environmental information is not
sensitive from the security and privacy points of view, standard
WPA2 encryption is used. The possibility of changing the
security protocol, depending on the one used in the wireless
computer network to which the sensor node connects, is also
available.
IV. P OWER C ONSUMPTION E STIMATION
The entire system has a CR123A 3 V battery as the main
power supply. This is the reason why several mechanisms for
ensuring the low-power operation of the device, were implemented. They lead to the achievement of a period between
one and three years of operation using a single commercial
off-the-shelf battery. The configuration menu allows for values
between one minute and 60 minutes to be set as the period
between two consecutive measurement and data transmission
actions. The system is a duty cycled one, spending most
of the time in sleep mode. The ratio between wakeup and
sleep times can take values between 1:8 and 1:500. This
alternation leads to a power consumption between one and two
hundred microwatts. Wakeup time lasts for only a few seconds,
depending on the value of the CO2 sensors digital filter,

Fig. 9.

Complete wakeup periods.

Detail of the normal measurement and data transmission.

period in which the consumed current lies between 14 mA


and 26 mA (medium values), depending on the completed
tasks: read data from the attached sensors (temperature and
humidity, CO2 , pressure and light) or send data.
Three complete wakeup cycles are shown in Figure 8:
1. boot, Wi-Fi and CO2 sensor setup (the other sensors do
not require a setup action), measurement of temperature,
humidity, CO2 , pressure and light intensity, and data transmission; 2. awakening at the pressing of the user button
and displaying data on LCD; and 3. awakening from the
sleep period, measurement of the five physical quantities and
data transmission via Wi-Fi. The first actions are executed in
28 seconds, the average current consumption being 19.89 mA,
the second period is 10 seconds long, with an average current
of 14.01 mA, while the last one depends on the value of the
digital filter (for 10, wakeup time is 13 seconds), with a current
of 25.68 mA. For further reducing the power consumption,
a DC/DC converter, which can be turned off, was used. This
way, during sleep, when only the PSoC microcontroller and the
DC/DC source are active, the entire system consumes 10 A.
Another choice motivated by the battery lifetime requirements
is represented by the unidirectional communication scheme
and by the use of short opcodes.
The device only sends short messages between previously
set time intervals, after which it goes to sleep mode.
Figure 9 presents a single wakeup period, consisting in
temperature, humidity, CO2 , pressure and light intensity

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IEEE SENSORS JOURNAL, VOL. 15, NO. 2, FEBRUARY 2015

Fig. 10.

Measurement setup diagram.


TABLE II
BATTERY L IFETIME

measurements, association to the access point and message


transmission. In sleep mode, the power consumption is lower
than 30 W and for a complete cycle (measurement, transmission association and transmission of results), the power
consumption is between 42 and 78 mW.
These power consumption measurements were performed
using the setup presented in Figure 10, consisting of an
INA138 circuit (current shunt monitor) and an integrating
function for computing the consumed current during a wakeup
period. The energy consumed during a complete cycle was
computed and then, based on the sleep/wakeup ratio and on the
total capacity of the battery, the node lifetime was estimated.
The operating time of a measurement system with wakeup
time of 7 seconds (the filter is set 2) and with varying sleep
intervals is presented in Table II. Several devices were tested
for a measurement cycle of 1 minute, each of them performing
around 30,000 measurements and transmissions with the same
small 3V battery. When using a measurement cycle of one
hour (1 hour between two consecutive measurements and
transmissions), 30,000 cycles stretch over more than three
years. The devices are currently tested for long operation
periods, by using a sleep time of 60 minutes. The experimental
setup consisted of a system similar with the one presented in
Figure 5, where several sensors send UDP messages, which
also include the battery voltages, to a server posting the data
on www.xively.com. The results are comparable with the ones
presented in [7], where the authors estimate a node lifetime
of almost three years for a smart gas monitoring system,
organized as a IEEE 802.15.4/ZigBee network, in a clustertree configuration.
The battery chosen for being used by the device is a
CR-123A, which is not a high performance one. However,
it provides the advantage of reduced dimensions and can be
bought at a relatively low price. If the design included a
type C or D battery instead of the CR123A one, the sensor
nodes lifetime would be doubled or even tripled with the
cost of an increase in volume of the entire system. The
battery voltage for a sensor node during testing is shown in

Fig. 11.

Battery voltage over time.

Figure 11. It has the same characteristic as the one given


by the manufacturer for a given load. It can be replaced by
a photovoltaic cell and a supercapacitor [19]. By using the
information from the light intensity sensor and by periodically
checking the voltage on the capacitor, the device can compute
the right moment for data transmission. The device is designed
in such a way that it can operate properly on a voltage starting
from 2.0 V, making energy harvesting viable.
V. C ONCLUSION
The development of a compact battery-powered system,
that monitors the temperature, relative humidity, the carbon
dioxide level, the absolute pressure and the intensity of light in
indoor spaces, and that sends the measurement data using the
existent wireless infrastructure based on the IEEE 802.11b/g
standards, was presented. Its power consumption was tested
in a real environment, with a rate of one transmission per
minute, indicating a battery lifetime close to one month.
Further, tests and simulations revealed that the system can
operate continuously for up to three years without requesting
battery replacement. The device automatically self-calibrates
the attached CO2 sensor and offers the possibility of operation
without maintenance for a long time. It can be used in a wide
range of monitoring applications as a component in a WSN, in
the IoT or in a cyber-physical system. The replacement of the
battery with an accumulator, a photovoltaic cell and a charging
circuit represents the subject of future work. By carefully
selecting the board components and sensors, a reasonable
price of the developed system was achieved even for small
quantities.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The authors would like to thank Synchro Comp
S.R.L, Craiova, Romania, and especially Mr. Vio Biscu, for
supporting this research.
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Silviu C. Folea (M08) received the degree in


control systems and the Ph.D. degree from the
Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (TUC-N),
Cluj-Napoca, Romania, in 1995 and 2005, respectively. He is currently an Associate Professor
with the Department of Automation, TUC-N.
His research interests include hardware and software embedded systems, reconfigurable systems,
data acquisition, wireless networks, and low-power
sensors.
He has authored nine books and book chapters,
edited one book, and authored about 84 conference and journal publications;
he was involved in over 33 research contracts, and two U.S. patents resulted
from the research contracts he participated in.

George Mois (M14) received the Degree in control


systems and the Ph.D. degree from the Technical
University of Cluj-Napoca (TUC-N), Cluj-Napoca,
Romania, in 2008 and 2011, respectively.
He is currently a Lecturer with the Department of
Automation, TUC-N. His research interests include
embedded system design, digital design, FieldProgrammable Gate Array (FPGA)-based systems,
and fault-tolerant and error-tolerant systems.