TECH OFFER

Agricultural Sensors Powered by the Soil

KEY INFORMATION

TECHNOLOGY CATEGORY:
Electronics - Sensors & Instrumentation
Energy - Sensor, Network, Power Conversion, Power Quality & Energy Management
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TECHNOLOGY READINESS LEVEL (TRL):
LOCATION:
Spain
ID NUMBER:
TO161460

TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW

Every day, the use of sensors in agriculture becomemore widespread. Sensors are used to measure climate conditions and soil parameters (such as humidity and pH), to predict crop yields and to identify potential dangersChemical batteries are the most common solution for the storage of energy in smart agriculture systems. They exhibit short lifetimes and must be replaced at least every 12 months under normal conditions. There is no reliable alternative to chemical storage in the market today. Solar panels have often been put forward as the sustainable power source of choice for remote sensing, however, they require constant maintenance resulting in high operating costs, and their connection to the sensors by cable is simply too expensive. Furthermore, all alternative solutions are either too expensive (wiring systems) or get easily deteriorated over time (piezoelectric) due to the harsh conditions, including dust, floods, and oxidation of internal components. This renders such solutions unreliable as power sources for periods of more than 2-3 months, making them unsuitable for remote monitoring in the majority of agricultural settings. 

Our product is a ground-breaking sensing solution that completely eradicates the problem with powering agricultural sensors

TECHNOLOGY FEATURES & SPECIFICATIONS

Using our unique “electricity from nature” concept, the sensors are powered by a battery/generator that produces small but sufficient currents of electricity from the decomposition of organic substances by bacteria within the soil. This process frees mobile electrons, which are captured by the system with one generator being able to power up to 4 sensors. The product is made of sustainable materials such as graphite, allows sensors to operate independently for a period of more than 3 years, is completely weatherproof (including under flood conditions), and provides constant electricity production during day and night. The current system is capable of providing 100ms discharges of 43W, up to 1.2 mWh per day, which is more than sufficient (5000 times more) to power a sensor’s reading, allowing several readings per day (current humidity and temperature sensors take a full reading with a 100ms discharge of 8 mW).

POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS

Various types of sensors in open-field agriculture (humidity, pH, temperature and similar).

Market Trends & Opportunities

Global market size estimate: 7.9B EUR.

Benefits

Our solution offers a sustainable alternative for sensor powering on the fields, with a lifespan of more than 3 times that of chemical batteries, at a reduced cost and with practically no maintenance needed.

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