Floor Tile Energy Harvester for Self-Powered Wireless Occupancy Sensing
We investigate a concept that can reduce the overall power requirement of a smart building through improvements in the real-time control of HVAC and indoor lighting based on the building occupancy. The increased number of embedded sensors necessary to realize the smart building concept results in a complex wiring and power structure. We demonstrate a floor tile energy harvester for creating a wireless and self-powered occupancy sensor. This sensor termed as “Smart Tile Energy Production Technology (STEP Tech)” can be used to control automation in smart buildings such as lighting and climate control based upon the real-time building occupancy mapping. The sensor comprises of piezoelectric transducer, energy harvesting circuit and wireless communication. Modeling and optimization procedure for the piezoelectric cymbal transducer is described within the framework of tiles. The design and selection of a packaging technique and construction of a durable floor tile enclosure aimed at protecting the bulk piezoceramic is discussed within the constraint that the deflection of the tile should be minimal such that it is not readily perceivable by humans, thus not disturbing their gait. Experimental results demonstrate that the piezoelectric tile could provide a promising solution for wireless occupancy sensing.