Energy harvesters replacing batteries in wireless sensor networks
The market for energy harvesting devices used in wireless sensor netwrks will grow by over 50% a year for the next five years, says Yole Développement.
The 2012 market worth $19m will grow into a $227m market in 2017, says Yole.
‘Until now, batteries were dominantly used to power those networks, but progress in low power electronics and communication protocols are enabling sensor networks to run off energy harvesters in conditions where it’s not practical to replace batteries,’ says Yole.
Building applications are by far the main use for energy harvesters with 1m units sold in 2011. They are used in commercial building where large networks of wireless switches (for lighting) and sensors (presence, humidity…) are installed.
The clear market drivers for energy harvesters are the huge installation cost reduction (no wiring), and their being maintenance free. Hence, production will be multiplied by a factor of more than 10 between 2012 and 2017.
The second key market area for energy harvesters is the industrial market to provice maintenance-free installations in places were access is difficult such as the oil and gas industry.