Abstract: We are planning to design a wireless environment monitoring system using renewable and cost-efficient soil energy. The D-size (55.8 cm3) soil energy cell with carbon and zinc electrodes can produce electricity depending on the water contents and microbial reactions in the soil. The RC circuit model of a soil cell is to be proposed for understanding the electrical characteristics of the cell. The wireless sensing system, including temperature and air moisture sensors, a custom low-power capacitive sensor readout silicon chip, a microcontroller, and a ZigBee transmitter, is to be demonstrated for long-term environmental monitoring solely by the fabricated D-size soil cell. The capacitive sensor readout chip is to be fabricated in a 0.18-Ám CMOS process. The total power consumption of the wireless temperature and air moisture monitoring system in the sleep mode and the active wireless data communication operations, should be within the acceptable values. The new technology can enable remote field environment monitoring with less labour-intensive work and battery replacement.

Keywords: ZigBee, soil cell, wireless and RC circuit.