Tuesday, August 5, 2014

IMF get on board

International Monetary Fund, report entitled ‘Getting Energy Prices Right’.

“Energy prices in many countries are wrong because they are set at levels that do not reflect environmental damage, notably climate change, air pollution, and various side effects of motor vehicle use,”

Fiscal Policies Should Reflect Environmental Damage Of Energy http://feeds.importantmedia.org/~r/IM-cleantechnica/~3/rK7cb0MC0D4/

Monday, July 28, 2014

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Portable battery bank

After my construction efforts I wanted to find a small compact battery to give me a bit of "weekend charge" for my mobile.

As you see from the photo,  this new box is about the size of my phone but thicker.  It has a 13ah capacity, charges up via a mini USB port the same as all my other kit & can charge up 2 gadgets at a time.. One at 1a, and one at 2.1a.  It even charges my new laptop.

Stats wise:

Phone battery (Samsung note two) 3ah
Laptop (asus t100) 8.3

So I can charge the phone 4 times or the pc 1.5 times.

Unfortunately I bought it at Amazon perpetuating their reign of slave labour & tax avoidance my only excuse is that a gadget this esoteric nature is hard to come by otherwise. 

If you are interested the link is http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00D76LQ02

Friday, May 16, 2014

Good old georgr

Another interesting post from Monbiot.

it's self evident to me that those of my friends more interested in shopping and how they look or heavily embedded in getting rich from business as usual fit the profile well...


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Personal power station

So, I have been shot voltage v v power recently. The Steve Harry presentation e voltage  versus is out of the water so I can't use its batteries & having just bought a new Van battery I am illogically precious about it.

So it felt like time to sort the situation out in time for the sun and as I need my pc now.

The funny thing about electricity is that to most people it's almost indistinguishable from magic. We have no idea how it works, can't see it and don't understand it. So I spent a while researching tech, reading a couple of books & understanding the science. stuff on his site really helped although Amazon.co.uk doesn't sell exactly the same bits.

so here is what i came up with

here is al the kit. solar radio, ikea lamp solar battery unit, my goal zero which charges aa + aaa batteries

the orange toolbox is the original one i bought, then i found the smaller green toolbox in a skip at the marina 

everything just fits.. 

here is the kit in case anyone is interested. click on the links to buy from amazon. they dont pay me or anything i just thought it may help. you will also need wire, crimpers, electrical tape & a sense of adventure

to charge from the mains at Steve's house when the sun is shining
or in emergencies !
converts the 240v of the grid to 12v the battery needs, charges intelligently

Sizing the system, I wanted something portable that would give me 7-10 days of power.
charging my phone once a day uses 3a per day so 21-30ah . assuming a battery discharge of no more than 50% i needed a 42-60 ah battery
 shows battery charge level ie available voltage. approx 11v = dead, 12v = 50% full 13v =100% charged

this takes the variable power coming from the solar panel and charges the battery 
the multi power point tech is the key variable look for an mppt model for upto 30% more charge

for plugging in usb chargers, the voltmeter above or a car style inverter for getting 240v out of the battery
this gives you a normal plug socket (beware the wattage of the inverted and kit must match eg i cannot plug a 2000w hoover into my 150w inverter but a laptop, tablet etc is fine) 

i forgot these and had to get some from maplins. good to know they sell them !
just about the biggest truly portabe option.
65w pannel creates 65/12 (because you are going into a 12v battery system) = 5.4a so it puts 5.4amps per hour x 6 hours a day = 32.4amps per day into the battery. thus i can recharge the 50% of storage i use in 10 days in only 1 day of good sun ! 

note the high output. cheap usb chargers are 500ma this can run at 4200ma so more than 8 times quicker to charge your phone !! and its offers 2 usbs ! 

I put the kit together, then rebuilt it in the new smaller toolbox which has the same footprint as my laptop and yesterday it was sunny...yay

it charged the kit hard for the day and am now charging the boat batteries ! 

so far so good it works well.

update: here is the voltagee v %charged info from a steve Harris presentation 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Bob the builder.. Episode 1 the jcb

So, I had the job booked for the 1st of April, but they arrived a day early... April fool on  me!

I heard a noise as I was finishing my coffee, stuck my head outside & saw a digger passing on a trailer at 07.45. Pondering what the odds of 2 diggers being delivered on the same Lane for jobs in the next 24 hours were, I called the office. There was no answer but soon, using the old school method of shouting I established that the were coming for me (!)

digger arrives

Luckily I was almost ready having arrived early and spend an evening pacing the land.
The digger was awesome in the true meaning of the word. It's power inspired awe in me... Huge chunks of earth that would have take hours to excavate were move in seconds.

here is the car park almost done. the mud / topsoil was removed exposing the far more useful subsoil layer & allowing the gate to finally open !!!

i couldn't resist this picture of the digger !
removing the outside topsoil prior to digging the hole for the greenhouse.

the hole gets deeper... now it is 4m deep at the back, and 10x10m at the base.

and just look how flat he managed to make the base... wonderful until it was chopped up by the drainage.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Electricity from heat differential

Wow I have discovered something truly amazing. I for one never knew that thermo electric coupling existed, having never been a big science geek. But I recently discovered this awesome product. The PowerPot

The picture shows the pot sitting on top of my stove. It is filled with cold water, and the temperature differential between the cooler top inside the pot & the heated under side creates electricity!

As you can see, a wire comes out of the pot at the handle & it is powering a led light. It can also charge a phone or battery pack.

So with my stove on all night I can charge my (few) gadgets even on rainy nights.

The permutations seem endless & after a couple of hours spent googling the tech I am tempted to build some more charging systems - after all the thermo electric couplings cost as little as £3 on Amazon.. So we shall see what the future holds...