Voltree Power Announces First
Contract with USDA Forest Service
Forest Service to Enhance Fire Prediction and Weather
Modeling Capabilities With Voltree’s “Climate Sensor Network”
CANTON, MASS. — Sept.
30, 2009 – Voltree Power (www.voltreepower.com) today announced
its first contract with the USDA Forest Service, following a rigorous
and successful test in June of its Climate Sensor Network.
The Climate Sensor Network complements the USDA Forest Service’s
Remote Automated Weather Stations network. Its durable and inexpensive
mesh network of low-power sensory nodes was designed to operate underneath
the forest canopy, and collect and report data on wind speed and direction,
air humidity, and temperature. The data, which is transmitted back to
fire officials, can be used to assist in the prediction of areas in the
forest at higher risk for fires at the time the information is collected.
The initial contract is for a total of five network systems, the first
to be deployed in Boise, Idaho, and tested through the end of this year.
“Voltree Power’s technology lets us cost-effectively micro-monitor
forest conditions under the canopy and identify high-risk areas,” said
Victoria Henderson, branch chief of equipment and chemicals for the U.S.
Forest Service’s Fire and Aviation Management unit. “This
Climate Sensor Network installation is a very small but important phase
of our decision on whether to widely deploy the technology. Fire prediction
is one of many potential applications; we can collect whatever data we
need with these sensors. This first installation will enable us to think
more broadly about this opportunity.”
“The USDA Forest Service is our first customer, so this is an
exciting development for us,” said Stella Karavas, CEO of Voltree
Power. “We’ve been collaborating for nearly two years to integrate
our breakthrough technology with their systems, and create a low-cost,
low-maintenance way for them to collect a new level of detailed environmental
data. This preliminary contract is a confirmation of our progress.”
In 2008, Voltree Power received a patent for its bio-energy harvesting
technology, which collects the energy that is naturally produced by living
trees and other large plants, and uses it to trickle charge and run low-power
circuits. The USDA Forest Service is evaluating a wireless mesh network
application of the technology, with nodes that consist of low-power transceivers,
sensors, and Voltree Power’s bio-energy harvesting technology. Data
collected by the nodes would be transmitted from one node to another until
they reach a central monitoring station. Each station provides a satellite
microwave uplink connection that allows the collected information to be
shared with government agencies and many others worldwide.
Enthusiasm Builds for Bio-Energy Harvesting Technology
The USDA Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management are not the
only major entities to recognize the potential of Voltree Power’s
patented bio-energy harvesting technology.
Texas Instruments has been an enthusiastic and generous contributor
to the development of the Climate Sensor Network, providing industry leading,
ultra-low power embedded processing and power management technology that
enables innovative, self powered applications.
“Voltree’s cutting-edge technology demonstrates that energy harvesting
solutions have real world implications that could impact our daily lives,” said
Adrian Valenzuela, product marketing manager at Texas Instruments. “Utilizing
TI’s ultra-low power technology, Voltree’s Climate Sensor Network can
achieve 20+ years without maintenance, making it an ideal solution for
these types of self-powered systems.”
In addition, work by a group at the University of Washington with no
ties to Voltree has confirmed the viability of operating low-power circuitry
from tree power, a methodology covered broadly by Voltree’s issued
patent and pending patent applications. With such independent confirmation
and proprietary rights, Voltree continues its business model of collaboration
and serving its customers’ needs.
“We are just scratching the surface in terms of potential applications,
and we’re thrilled to see the excitement build among corporations,
government agencies, and academia,” said Karavas. “As the
patent holder of the core technology, we invite inquiries from potential
To connect with someone at Voltree Power regarding a potential partnership,
go to www.voltreepower.com/contact/contact.php.
About Voltree Power
Voltree Power is leading the way in the practical integration of three
distinct technologies: energy harvesting, lower-power radios, and wireless
mesh networks. Such integration offers solutions for numerous remote-sensing
applications that include agricultural/sensing, waterway/reservoir monitoring,
hydrology as well as border and other remote location surveillance using
motion, heat, illegal substance and radiation detectors placed nearly
everywhere, including under triple canopy.
Voltree’s patented “Bioenergy Harvester” converts
metabolic plant energy into usable electricity. The “Voltree Power
Module” is a pioneering alternative to the battery that eliminates
the impracticality of battery replacement in extensive mesh networks.
Voltree Power offices and manufacturing facility are based in Canton,
Voltree Power LLC
P.O. Box 477, Canton, MA 02021-3199 USA
T: +1.781.828.8733 F: +1.781.821.2111