Energy Harvesting for Self-Sustainable Wireless Body Area Networks

Fayaz Akhtar, Mubashir Husain Rehmani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Energy is regarded as one of the most critical challenges for static and mobile pervasive sensor networks. It not only limits a network's operating lifetime but also causes a performance bottleneck. Traditional techniques for overcoming energy constraints include replacing batteries or using a constant electrical source for wired recharging. These might not always be feasible solutions, however, and in some cases, could even prove prohibitive. Fortunately, due to recent technological advancements, several prominent techniques now exist to viably address such energy constraints. Among these, energy harvesting is gaining significant attention in academia and industry due to its potential to enable perpetual operation without the need for external power cables or periodic battery replacements. Energy can be harnessed from a diverse set of nonelectrical ubiquitous sources whenever required. This article presents a review of several potential energy-harvesting sources for wireless body area networks (WBAN). The authors examine sources' characteristics, usefulness in enhancing service availability and minimizing performance bottleneck, current challenges, and possible future research directions. They discuss how recent developments in energy-harvesting technologies have raveled self-sustainable operation for low-power body sensor networks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7914600
Pages (from-to)32-40
Number of pages9
JournalIT Professional
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Batteries
  • Biofuels
  • Body area networks
  • Electric potential
  • Energy harvesting
  • Energy management
  • Wireless communication
  • Wireless sensor networks


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