This paper describes the development and characterization of a smart garment for monitoring the environmental and biophysical parameters of the user wearing it; the wearable application is focused on the control to workers’ conditions in dangerous workplaces in order to prevent or reduce the consequences of accidents. The smart jacket includes flexible solar panels, thermoelectric generators and flexible piezoelectric harvesters to scavenge energy from the human body, thus ensuring the energy autonomy of the employed sensors and electronic boards. The hardware and firmware optimization allowed the correct interfacing of the heart rate and SpO2 sensor, accelerometers, temperature and electrochemical gas sensors with a modified Arduino Pro mini board. The latter stores and processes the sensor data and, in the event of abnormal parameters, sends an alarm to a cloud database, allowing company managers to check them via a web app. The characterization of the harvesting subsection has shown that ≈ 265 mW maximum power can be obtained in a real scenario, whereas the power consumption due to the acquisition, processing and BLE data transmission functions determined that a 10 mAh/day charge is required to ensure the device’s proper operation. By charging a 380 mAh Lipo battery in a few hours by means of the harvesting system, an energy autonomy of 23 days was obtained, in the absence of any further energy contribution.
R. de Fazio
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