The advent of wireless measurement transmissions poses the problem of powering equipment. Even if the transmission wires are removed from the measurements, you might as well remove the power cables as well. Until recently, the only alternative was to use battery power. But other alternatives are emerging, which consist of using magnetic energy (thus by induction, as for passive RFIDs, but this is especially valid for short distances) or the potential energy of the medium on which the equipment is mounted. Two techniques have had some success: the recovery of thermal energy (by Peltier effect) or mechanical energy from vibrations (when the equipment is mounted on a vibrating system, such as a pump or compressor for example).
This is the second solution that National Instruments recommends to self-power its WSN-3226 wireless measurement module.
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