In modern economies, large service buildings are responsible for an important part of the global electrical energy consumption. The implementation of energy saving strategies can benefit from disaggregated consumption monitoring. To tackle this problem, a number of technological solutions exist, being however, expensive in equipment, installation and maintenance. Because of its decentralized operation principle, wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are an important tool to implement disaggregated electrical energy monitoring.
The development of a self-powered, battery-free current sensor node for large WSNs may contribute to the implementation of monitoring solutions for large buildings. In this paper, a solution to monitor disaggregated consumption is presented, based on a contact-less power source for Zigbee nodes using a split-core toroidal coil current transformer (SCCT). The proposed device is able to power a battery-free wireless node estimating also the current drawn by the electrical load with a single SCCT. The SCCT is successfully applied to power a battery-free wireless device running a complex communication software stack. The proposed system is described through simulation as well as the experimental results.