Realistic and repeatable emulation of energy harvesting environments

Josiah Hester, Lanny Sitanayah, Timothy Scott, Jacob Sorber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Harvesting energy from the environment makes it possible to deploy tiny sensors for long periods of time, with little or no requiredmaintenance; however, this free energymakes testing and experimentation difficult. Environmental energy sources vary widely and are often difficult both to predict and to reproduce in the lab during testing. These variations are also behavior dependent-a factor that leaves application engineers unable to make even simple comparisons between algorithms or hardware configurations, using traditional testing approaches. In this article, we describe the design and evaluation of Ekho, an emulator capable of recording energy harvesting conditions and accurately recreating those conditions in the lab. Thismakes it possible to conduct realistic and repeatable experiments involving energy harvesting devices. Ekho is a general-purpose, mobile tool that supports a wide range of harvesting technologies. We demonstrate, using a working prototype, that Ekho is capable of reproducing solar, Radio Frequency (RF), and kinetic energy harvesting environments accurately and consistently. Our results show that Ekho can recreate harvesting-dependent program behaviors by emulating energy harvesting conditions accurately to within 77.4μA for solar and 15.0μA for kinetic environments, and can emulate RF energy harvesting conditions consistently.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16
JournalACM Transactions on Sensor Networks
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2017


  • Emulation
  • Energy harvesting
  • RFID
  • i-V curves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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