A New Method for Battery Lifetime Estimation Using Experimental Testbed for Zigbee Wireless Technology
Many Zigbee-based wireless sensor networks have been developed for outdoor applications such as agriculture monitoring. The main attractiveness of Zigbee wireless module is in its potential to set up self-organizing network that requires no network backbone and extremely low cost with low-power wireless networking. Many simulations have been performed for testing the capabilities of wireless communication device and the battery lifetime. However, the results from the simulation do not capture the actual environment effects and the simulators allow users to isolate certain factors by tuning to different parameters. This paper provides experimental results on actual voltage drop using Zigbee protocol devices when communicating temperature, humidity and soil moisture data using a 900mAh battery both in indoor and outdoor environments. It is observed that the wireless nodes are capable of relaying data up to 143 meters on unobstructed line of sights in an outdoor environment with some observation of packet drop. The results differ from previous researches that perform the experiments on shorter range which only covers 50 cm distance between transmitter node and receiver node for 2 bytes of data transfer. The paper proposes a new method for battery lifetime estimation which is derived from number of times data packet can be transmitted. This study also suggests to conduct experiment by including the environmental factors to capture the actual performance of wireless device and the impact to packet drop. The experiment concludes the suitability of Zigbee wireless communication for short-range applications of up to 143 meters which is significantly farther than other reported experiments.
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