“The Plant-e system has proven to be not only very durable, but also very reliable.”

Waterboard de Dommel

In collaboration with Waterboard De Dommel, Plant-e conducted field tests at three locations in Noord Brabant to validate the final design of Plant-Microbial Fuel Cells (P-MFCs) in the form of a PowerStick, as a natural energy source for self-sustaining sensors. In the pilot we tested 72 P-MFCs, exploring the effects of electrode length, depth under the soil, starting conditions, temperature, season and water level on the performance of P-MFCs. The primary goal of this field-test is the validation of the P-MFCs as a year-round source of power.

This collaboration with semiconductor company NXP and the Waterboard De Dommel, showed that a hand-held solution containing a pair of P-MFCs, also called the PowerStick, was successfully able to power remote wireless sensors. It provided valuable insights into P-MFC power generation in wetlands, especially during the Winter months. Despite some variations in power output, there was a clear indication of soil temperature impact on P-MFC performance, with increasing power output aligning with rising soil temperature.

The field tests in Noord Brabant confirmed the potential of P-MFCs as a sustainable energy source for self-sustaining sensors, with ongoing research focusing on powering different types of sensors (like water quality sensors).

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