In the WSNs, the nodes closer to the sink node have heavier traffic load for packet forwarding because they do not only collect data within their sensing range but also relay data for nodes further away. The unbalanced power consumption among sensor nodes may cause network partition. This paper proposes efficient node placement, topology control, and MAC scheduling protocols to prolong the sensor network lifetime, balance the power consumption of sensor nodes, and avoid collision. Firstly, a virtual tree topology is constructed based on Grid-based WSNs. Then two node-placement techniques, namely Distance-based and Density-based deployment schemes, are proposed to balance the power consumption of sensor nodes. Finally, a collision-free MAC scheduling protocol is proposed to prevent the packet transmissions from collision. in addition, extension of the proposed protocols are made from a Grid-based WSN to a randomly deployed WSN, enabling the developed energy-balanced schemes to be generally applied to randomly deployed WSNs. Simulation results reveal that the developed protocols can efficiently balance each sensor node's power consumption and prolong the network lifetime in both Grid-based and randomly deployed WSNs. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.