Harvesting energy from electric fields for powering wireless sensors within air-insulated substations

  • Minan Zhu

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

Aging equipment in the electricity grid requires close monitoring to ensure the safe operation of the network. The lack of reliable and cost effective ways for supplying power has hindered the large scale installation of wireless condition monitoring sensors in the electricity grid. Electric fields of elevated strength exist in high voltage plants, such as air-insulated substations. Advances in technology have been reducing the power consumption of wireless sensors. Harvesting energy from the electric fields could be a viable way of supplying power to the wireless sensors if the technical challenges can be overcome.This study reports the progress in the field of energy harvesting, surveys the electric fields inside air-insulated substations, explains the physical phenomenon of charge induction inside electric fields in detail, investigates charge transfer techniques, proposes solutions to the technical challenges and presents the design and assembly of a demonstration unit. The successful operation of the demonstration unit shows that harvesting energy from the electric fields has the potential to enable large scale installation of wireless condition monitoring sensors in the electricity grid.
Date of Award1 Jun 2010
LanguageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorBrian Stewart (Supervisor) & (Supervisor)

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