A 22-m Operation Range Semi-Passive UHF RFID Sensor Tag With Flexible Thermoelectric Energy Harvester
Keywords: 
Área Ingeniería Eléctrica, Electrónica y Automática
Energy harvesting
Integrated circuit (IC)
Internet of Things (IoT)
Radio frequency identification (RFID)
Thermoelectric generator (TEG)
Integration
Generator
Antenna
Design
Issue Date: 
2022
ISSN: 
1530-437X
Citation: 
Solar-Ruiz, H. (Héctor); Beriain-Rodríguez, A. (Andoni); Rezola-Garciandia, A. (Ainhoa); et al. "A 22-m Operation Range Semi-Passive UHF RFID Sensor Tag With Flexible Thermoelectric Energy Harvester". IEEE Sensors Journal. 22 (20), 2022, 19797 - 19808
Abstract
This article presents a wireless temperature sensor tag able to work in both fully passive mode and in semi-passive mode when assisted by a flexible thermoelectric generator (TEG). The sensor tag consists of an EPC C1G2/ISO 18000-6C ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) radio frequency identification (RFID) integrated circuit (IC) connected to a low-power microcontroller unit (MCU) that samples and collects the temperature from a digital temperature sensor. With a temperature gradient as low as 2.5 degrees C, the test results show that the TEG provides an output power of 400 mu W with an output voltage of 40 mV. By means of an up-converter in order to boost the TEG output voltage, this harvester supplies the power required to the sensor tag for a 2-conv/s data rate in semi-passive mode. Moreover, when the tag operates in semi-passive mode, a communication range of 22.2 m is measured for a 2-W effective radiated power (ERP) reader. To the best of our knowledge, the proposed TEG-assisted sensor tag shows the longest communication range and the only one that provides stable external power at low-temperature gradients. The measured performance and the chosen architecture allow using the wireless sensor in multiple industrial or biomedical applications.

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