Tutorial 22022-06-03T18:47:26+00:00

Wireless RF Energy Harvesting & Transfer for Massive IoT

Tuesday, 7 June 2022, 9:00-10:30/11:00-12:30, Room A228
  • Onel L. Alcaraz López (University of Oulu, FI)
  • Hirley Alves (University of Oulu, FI)

Motivation and Context

The lack of energy-efficient solutions for powering and keeping the uninterrupted operation of massive deployments of Internet of Things (IoT) devices is a significant concern of industry/academy, especially considering their stringent quality of service requirements. Energy harvesting (EH) techniques are an attractive solution as they allow for recharging batteries externally, thus avoiding/mitigating environment-unfriendly, costly, and even impossible battery replacement operations. EH may constitute a key component of future sustainable IoT networks. We focus on radio-frequency (RF) – EH (occurs at an energy receiving node) and wireless energy transfer (WET) (initiated at an energy transmitting node) technologies, which have a strong potential for energizing massive low-power IoT deployments. In the past years, there have been significant advances on new transceiver designs, RF-WET algorithms, MAC protocols, advanced prototypes, mechanisms for integrating RF-EH and RF-WET into wireless communication systems, and even a few commercial products. Moreover, overhead-free/limited solutions have been initially proposed to promote scalability according to the low-power IoT growth trends. However, there are still many challenges and open problems to resolve: scalability, increasing the end-to-end system efficiency, supporting ubiquitous energy accessibility with stringent quality-of-service guarantees, and transparently complying with electromagnetic field radiation constraints to mitigate the “fear of wireless.” Therefore, novel RF-EH/WET mechanisms and technological developments must cope with these challenges and promote standardization and advanced commercial solutions/products. The topic is especially relevant and engaging for the EuCNC audience because RF-EH/WET are sustainability-promoting technologies potentially enabling numerous new use-cases, services, and businesses. This Tutorial covers all the aspects mentioned above. As such, it will come in handy for anyone doing research or commercial product development on the topic or just interested in catching up with it. This research area is receiving soaring attention since there is much room for new developments before the concept is mature enough for full commercial use.

Structure and Content

Part I – Introduction to massive IoT and RF-EH/WET (30 min)

  • Describe and discuss massive IoT and its representative use-cases and scenarios
  • Identify key technologies, requirements, and enablers in massive IoT
  • Discuss available EH solutions
  • Introduce RF-EH/WET technology, including architectures and main use-cases
  • Discuss analytical models and performance metrics for RF-EH
  • Enumerate significant enablers for massive RF-EH/WET

Part II – Ambient RF-EH in massive IoT (40 min)

  • Introduce ambient RF-EH technology and efficient designs
  • Overview energy usage protocols
  • Survey ambient RF EH measurement campaigns
  • Discuss energy arrival analytical models
  • Exemplify the performance of ambient RF-EH

Part III – Advanced RF-WET solutions (50 min)

  • Discuss scalable RF-WET multi-antenna precoding
  • Overview key metrics for assessing the human’s exposure to electromagnetic radiation
  • Study the performance of indoor RF-WET to high-power IoT devices
  • Discuss distributed energy transmitters’ deployment and resource allocation strategies

Part IV – Communication and energy transfer architectures (40 min)

  • Define wireless powered communication networks (WPCN)
  • Discuss single and multi-user WPCN, and MAC aspects
  • Identify simultaneous wireless information and power transfer (SWIPT) schemes
  • Discuss transceiver designs for SWIPT
  • Discuss enablers for efficient SWIPT, e.g., waveform optimization, multi-carrier SWIPT, cooperation, ML/AI, etc.

Part V – Future research directions (20 min)

  • Discuss open research problems
  • Raise key technologies and enablers for massive RF-WET
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