Prospects of wireless energy-aware sensors for smart factories in the industry 4.0 era

Research output: Journal contributionsScientific review articlesResearch


  • Olfa Kanoun
  • Sabrine Khriji
  • Slim Naifar
  • Sonia Bradai
  • Ghada Bouattour
  • Ayda Bouhamed
  • Dhouha El Houssaini
  • Christian Viehweger

Advanced sensors are becoming essential for modern factories, as they contribute by gathering comprehensive data about machines, processes, and human-machine interaction. They play an important role in improving manufacturing performance, in-factory logistics, predictive maintenance, supply chains, and digitalization in general. Wireless sensors and wireless sensor networks (WSNs) provide, in this context, significant advantages as they are flexible and easily deployable. They have reduced installation and maintenance costs and contributed by reducing cables and preinstalled infrastructure, leading to improved reliability. WSNs can be retrofitted in machines to provide direct information from inside the processes. Recent developments have revealed exciting possibilities to enhance energy harvesting (EH) and wireless energy transmission, enabling a reliable use of wireless sensors in smart factories. This review provides an overview of the potential of energy aware WSNs for industrial applications and shows relevant techniques for realizing a sustainable energy supply based on energy harvesting and energy transfer. The focus is on high-performance converter solutions and improvement of frequency, bandwidth, hybridization of the converters, and the newest trends towards flexible converters. We report on possibilities to reduce the energy consumption in wireless communication on the node level and on the network level, enabling boosting network efficiency and operability. Based on the existing technologies, energy aware WSNs can nowadays be realized for many applications in smart factories. It can be expected that they will play a great role in the future as an enabler for digitalization in this decisive economic sector.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2929
JournalElectronics (Switzerland)
Issue number23
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 26.11.2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: Parts of this work have been done within the research training group Nitramon (100339427) funded by the European Union together with the state of Saxony.

Funding Information:
Funding: The publication of this article was funded by Chemnitz University of Technology.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

    Research areas

  • Energy harvesting, Energy saving, Vibration converters, Wireless communication, Wireless power transfer, WSN
  • Engineering