Energy management policies for harvesting-based wireless sensor devices with battery degradation

Nicolo Michelusi, Leonardo Badia, Ruggero Carli, Luca Corradini, Michele Zorzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Energy Harvesting Wireless Sensor Devices are increasingly being considered for deployment in sensor networks, due to their demonstrated advantages of prolonged lifetime and autonomous operation. However, irreversible degradation mechanisms jeopardize battery lifetime, calling for intelligent management policies, which minimize the impact of these phenomena while guaranteeing a minimum Quality of Service (QoS). This paper explores a mathematical characterization of these devices, focusing on the interplay between the battery discharge policy and the irreversible degradation of the storage capacity. We propose a stochastic Markov chain framework, suitable for policy optimization, which captures the degradation status of the battery. We present a general result of Markov chains, which exploits the timescale separation between the communication time-slot of the device and the battery degradation process, and enables an efficient optimization. We show that this model fits well the behavior of real batteries for what concerns their storage capacity degradation over time. We demonstrate that a degradation-aware policy significantly improves the lifetime of the sensor compared to "greedy" policies, while guaranteeing the minimum required QoS. Finally, a simple heuristic policy, which never discharges the battery below a given threshold, is shown to achieve near-optimal performance in terms of battery lifetime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number130022
Pages (from-to)4934-4947
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Communications
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Battery management systems
  • Energy harvesting
  • Lifetime estimation
  • Markov processes
  • Sensor phenomena and characterization
  • Wireless sensor networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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