Statistical Analysis of Multiple Antenna Strategies for Wireless Energy Transfer
Wireless energy transfer (WET) is emerging as a potential solution for powering small energy-efficient devices. We propose strategies that use multiple antennas at a power station, which wirelessly charges a large set of single-antenna devices. The proposed strategies operate without channel state information (CSI), and we attain the distribution and main statistics of the harvested energy under Rician fading channels with sensitivity and saturation energy-harvesting (EH) impairments. A switching antenna strategy, where a single antenna with full power transmits at a time, provides the most predictable energy source, and it is particularly suitable for powering sensor nodes with highly sensitive EH hardware operating under non-LOS (NLOS) conditions while other WET schemes perform alike or better in terms of the average harvested energy. While switching antennas is the best under NLOS, transmitting simultaneously with equal power in all antennas is the most beneficial as LOS increases. Moreover, spatial correlation is not beneficial unless the power station transmits simultaneously through all antennas, raising a tradeoff between average and variance of the harvested energy since both metrics increase with the spatial correlation. Moreover, the performance gap between CSI-free and CSI-based strategies decreases quickly as the number of devices increases.