A Sustainable Soil Energy Harvesting System with Wide-Range Power-Tracking Architecture

I. Che Ou, Jia Ping Yang, Chia Hung Liu, Kai Jie Huang, Kun Ju Tsai, Yu Lee, Yuan Hua Chu, Yu Te Liao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


For wide-range deployment of wireless sensing nodes in power- and size-constrained Internet of Things applications, self-sustaining wireless sensors without batteries are needed. The energy supply for these ubiquitous sensing devices should harness environmental energy sources to avoid frequent battery replacement and pollution. This paper presents a new soil energy harvesting system with a power management integrated circuit (IC) for wide-range maximum power point tracking (MPPT). The output power of a soil energy cell varies widely according to the soil moisture and soil contents. To extract the maximum amount of energy from the soil, high-efficiency power management with adaptive dc-dc conversion ratios and an MPPT mechanism is essential. The proposed system is implemented with a high-efficiency dc-dc converter IC in a 0.18- {\mu }\text{m} CMOS process. The design achieves a peak tracking efficiency of 90.5% in the throughput power range from 56 \mu \text{W} to 1 mW at an output voltage of 3 V and system efficiency exceeding 65% over an input resistance range of the soil energy source; the peak system efficiency is 73.9%. A demonstration was undertaken of the soil energy harvesting system lighting an LED array without any chemical batteries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8717725
Pages (from-to)8384-8392
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Internet of Things Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • Maximal power point tracking
  • power management
  • soil energy

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