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Hello, Love your website!
I am in the process of turning a indoor closet ( rather large walk-in closet) into a hydroponics green house. I want the entire green house to grow using led lights and run completely on solar power. I am familiar with D.C. circuits but have never played with solar panels before. I was just wondering if you have any advice for me… Probably gonna start with 4 buckets (tomato, cucumber, peppers, eggplants)
For solar just make sure your panels are 1/3 more voltage than the batteries you are charging. Include a blocking diode to keep the battery charge from leaking out through the solar panels. You will also need some kind of charge regulation to keep the batteries from over charging. I would use lead acid batteries because they are the easiest to charge and will not explode in giant balls of flame like the lithium batteries. Other than that, the project will be just like the plantduino greenhouse. Check out sparkfun.com and adafruit,com for charger regulation boards.
In the future please leave comments on the appropriate project page or blog post.
I was wondering if anyone had checked out thermoelectric generators. While doing some research on something else, I came across plenty of data that showed that this gadgets could be 80% efficient. Since there is plenty of heat around, that kind of efficiency could go a long way to solving the climate crisis. Weirdly, some old patents from the 50s show easy ways to get these kinds of levels from pretty ordinary materials. Anybody interested in full details, contact me…. one of the 99%, Fred
I’ll put a bit of the data here in case it becomes useful to someone.
The first step are relatively simple, non-electronic means for getting to a 50% efficient thermo generator. If a 50% efficient TEG can be built cheaply by the 99%, then the monopoly of centralized electrical power will be busted for good, and it will literally give ‘power’ to the 99% to set up encampments without requiring bicycle generators or large solar arrays, and will basically revolutionize everything from housing, urban gardening, desalinization, and a host of other pressing issues.
The basic problem of increasing the efficiency of a TEG, is to reduce the thermal conductivity through the device, while maintaining electrical conductivity.
US patent 2857446 is one of several patents that shows methods how the thermal conductivity can be made almost arbitrarily low, raising the figure of merit Zt to levels of 1000, using relatively cheap metals like Copper and Constantan for the thermocouple. Pg. 6, and pg. 8, column 2, are the most important passages.
The thermodynamic efficiency relative to Carnot cycle limits can then be as high as 50%, depending on the care with which the method is implemented. The efficiency of these gadgets now is about 12% at best– too low for them to replace gasoline or solar power in our everyday lives.
The method consists of creating narrow bridges or channels between two pieces of thermoelectric material, so that heat is almost blocked, while electrons can still flow. The patent shows geometrically that a flat disc has a fixed electrical resistance even as it increases in diameter, while thermal conductivity, and heat differential, continue to drop.
3 of these patents show test results. This gadget should work, and would be easy to build and test. This is only a tiny part of the data I have available, that can push it up to 80% efficiency…but I’m not very skilled in building, and more of a paper pusher. I’d still like to be a part of OWS and the Greens in the ways that I can be.
Here’s another interesting bit of data. Putting a solar panel in an organic dielectric liquid can greatly increase the power output of the cells. Bathing the cells in ethyl alcohol gives a 68% increase in the power output for a panel connected to a 250 ohm load, or 23% increase for a 1Kohm load. This amounts to putting the panel in a flat tray and covering the cells with liquid.
This info is found in patent application US20030005957, “Solar Energy Converter Using Optical Concentration Through A Liquid” from Kunihide Tanaka. I seriously doubt a patent will ever be issued on this, it is too simple and easy to do. In OWS field installations it would be a dramatic increase in the power available for communications and other purposes.
Can u let me know were u picked up your radio control cause every where i go they sell it for more than $100
Got mine at Hobby Stop: http://www.yelp.com/biz/rc-hovers-hobby-stop-foxboro I must have got a good deal on that radio. Give them a call and see what they have in stock!
I would love to see diagrams and final notes about the improved version of the solar powered phone charger that you were working on. Some suggestions were made and a second revised plan was promised, but nothing has been posted on the subject since March of this year, and it is now August. How did that pan out?
I i am so lucky this the web thing works and unfortunately your article certainly helped all of us. Might have you through to that family home advice one
First off, Rad website.
I was wondering if you were able to construct a mechanism much like the knock lock, but the only difference is… its only triggered by a certain tune or song.
I can pay you through pay pal?
I love your ideas and i hope you can help me,
Thank you Revolt Lab.
Hello, good articles on your web site. I too have basically the same OWI Robotic Arm that you build for detonating a bomb. I have completed my initial breadboard testing of all the relay board, generic PS2 wireless controller, Cytron wireless controller, motor drivers for the arm and tracks. I use the Kyosho Blizzard chassis, tracks, and oem motors, minus the shovel. The chassis and motor assembly cost a little more than your project but I guess I like more sturdier metal chassis for my own applications. I assembled and build my own arm motor drivers based on L293D ICs since the OWI arm motors run on 3vdc forward and reverse. Then I use an old CAT excavator motor driver I brought from ebay for $10 to drive the Kyosho track motors. It works perfectly and I am only using 5vdc. I will post photos of my completed model as soon as I put them together.
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