Most interesting open hardware projects from opensource.com

Opensource.com team has published a list of the most interesting open hardware projects of 2014. From descriptions one can clearly see that the tendencies are the same as before – now besides the open-source software there arrives more and more open projects which focus on making different equipment. The article lists already well-known projects such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi, RepRap at the same time pointing at the newcomers like DIY Oscilloscope, LittleBits and others.

openhardwaretools_0

Of course, the article does not list all the interesting hardware projects, but it is surely worth looking at. And the team of EnergyTorrent is meanwhile focusing on making some energy hardware which would be worth mentioning on opensource.com in 2015 🙂

Open-source equipment prints solar panels every 15 seconds

The idea of open-source energy technologies gets more and more support of the inhabitants of our small blue-green planet 😉 . The two inventors of the Philippines – Shawn Frayne and Alex Hornstein (Shawn Frayne and Alex Hornstein) developed a “pocket” factory for printing small solar panels.

Свіжонадрукована сонячна панель

Shawn and Alex have developed the equipment that allows to automate the manual labor and the layout of small solar panels that are used in household appliances. According to them, this is exactly what will make the solar panels more popular because they are too expensive at the moment. Due to the large component of manual labor, small panels cost $1-2 per installed watt of power. At the same time the price of large panels is $ 0.65 for 1 watt.

The equipment that is being developed by Shawn and Alex is quite productive – it allows to print one panel segment every 15 seconds. But most importantly – it allows to do this in a home lab or in the garage!

Two inventors have received funds to develop their own equipment on Kickstarter and later they plan to make the technology open and cheaper. We are glad that there are like-minded people and looking forward to release of a new open energy technology! A little more information – the video and the links below.

Based on: http://themindunleashed.org/2014/08/open-source-solar-pocket-factory-can-3d-print-solar-panel-every-15-seconds.html

Help our hackers to make the world greener!

By providing our hackers a mirror or materials to experiment with solar concentrators you’ll help with making solar power more accessible

Not only technology

Sunny hakathon SunnyDay is not just a competition between teams of hackers to win the prize. It is not only tech creativity and work on the best concentration scheme.

Взаємодопомога

The desire to share knowledge and skills, the results of work with others is at the heart of this project. Therefore, participants will publish the results of their work in the form of open-source schemes, instructions “How to…” and other documentation.

We will share our work with the whole world, because we believe that the possibility to freely use solar energy and energy democracy – is worth investing time and effort. We believe that over time, our present experiments will grow into new businesses, social and private projects. And everyone without any exception will be able to use the results of our work.

Old mirror? – Give it to us!

In order to ensure our teams have the greatest possible scope for experimentation, we ask for your help. SunnyDay budget allows to buy certain amounts of materials, but the number of registered teams tells us that we need more.

solar-power-concentrator

 Please help hackers with the materials – and they will share with you their knowledge and results of their hard work.

We don’t need any new or extraordinary materials – just look around. If you have an old mirror, or you don’t know what to do with the old satellite antenna – we will be happy to help you to get rid of it. Whoknows, maybe thankfully to your old / unwanted thing some team will win $1K and make the best concentrator?

Most likely somewhere in your garage you can find things that will be useful for our hackers:

  • Glass mirrors  (including small)
  • Plastic mirrors (eg acrylic mirror)
  • Other mirrored surfaces
  • Old satellite antennas
  • Different types of binding
  • Tubes and pipes of small diameters
  • Slim fitting
  • Bolts, screws, brackets, binding
  • Left overs from USS Enterprise or international space station;) – kidding :))
  • Other

Where and how to give it?

If you have something from the above list and you’re ready to share these materials, here is what you should do:

  1. Take a photo of what you have
  2. Send this photo via email to zinchenko.andrij [at] gmail.com with topic “materials for hackathon”
  3. We will contact you and agree how we can take the materials

Thank you!

Thanks in advance to all who respond and support our hackers.

SunnyDay hackathon invites to make solar energy closer

First Ukrainian solar technology hackathon SunnyDay invites hackers and renewable energy enthusiasts. All those who believe that their tech talents multiplied by joint efforts can make renewable energy closer to each dweller of the planet are invited. All those who are ready to take drills, angle grinders, welding machines and cutters in their hands, those who are not afraid to work with various tools and make practical experiments are invited to join us in Kyiv on June 21-23rd.

Focusing on concentration (CSP)

During the 3-day event hacker teams will compete for prises and title of best solar concentrators developers. We are aiming to make this promising renewable energy technology ultimately accessible for those people  who are ready to use tools and visit  building store

Knowledge for the whole planet

Modern smart-phones and planes once also started as experiments of hackers, who were freely sharing their knowledge and forever changed whole industries. And we are inviting you to change yet another industry with joint efforts and inspiration. We talk about energy.

So, if you are ready to work along with us on the product which will be freely available through open-source license for the people globally and will make solar energy more accessible for dozens, hundreds and thousands of people all over the world – register and come to our hackathon.

You think that energy products is just a realm of commercial companies and open-source is a bad approach in energy sphere? Than take a look at open-source rockets of Peter Medsen, materials of Open Source Ecology project, open designs of modern drones. These materials show that open-source and open technologies are things that are making our world better while offering brand new opportunities for communities, businesses, for all of us.

Who can participate?
Anyone — enthusiasts, hackers and professionals. Everyone who is interested in creating more open future of the energy sphere. And do not hesitate if you lack some tech skills — the talents of SunnyDay participant amplify each other!

Join us – there will be lots of fun, loads of tech creativity, a friendly number of outstanding people as well as best organizers and partners: EnergyTorrent, GeekWorkspace, greencubator, Atmosfera.ua, NECU, SSA KPI,  GIZ, KhackerSpace, HackLab-Kyiv. All this great company is gathering in the framework of European Week of Sustainble Energy. Join in!

Registration
You can register for the event here: http://goo.gl/vGXjmO

EnergyTorrent and KHackerSpace (Kharkiv) started joint steam engine assembly

Since the last week EnergyTorrent along with Kharkiv-based KhackerSpace started joint effort to assemble a first steam engine. Mykola Khrystenko – one of the active participant of Kharkiv tech community is the leader of the project on the side of our Kharkiv partners.

Mykola Khrystenko makes some magic with 3D printer components @KHackerSpace

Mykola Khrystenko along with a colleague works on the details of 3D printer in KHackerspace

Steam engine is one of the important components of the renewable energy construction set that is being developed by EnergyTorrent team. This well-known and well-tested technology (which is also very reliable) can be used in various applications. Efficiently transforming heat into mechanical energy steam engine can be an important part in generating mechanical and electric energy in cases when the thermal energy is available. The source of the heat can be, for example, solar light or burning of the biomass.

For now we have taken as a base an existing steam engine developed by American inventor Robert Green.We can not share his technical drawings, since the copyright belongs to him. Though, machining and assembling this type of a motor is an important start for us. After testing it we will be working on our own versions of steam engine which will fit best the needs of using renewable energy sources.

A part of 2-cylinder steam engine drawings

A fragment of 2-cylinder steam engine drawings

And once again – EnergyTorrent is an open project, so if you are interested to join the team working on our steam engine – we will be more then glad (yah, that includes cookies). We are also open to new ideas, so if you are ready to propose an implement new technical approaches or technologies – you are also welcome. Join in!

SunnyDay: first Ukrainian solar hackathon

Attention! The dates of the SunnyDay hackathon are changed for June 21-23. SunnyDay is now a part of European Sustainable Energy Week programme 🙂

A first Ukrainian solar hackathon will take place on June 6-8 2014 in Kyiv. A joint event by EnergyTorrent and Geek Workspace will gather hacker teams willing compete for the name of the best solar hacker team and a nice set of prises.

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Focus on CSP

The first solar hackathon is focused on concentrated solar power (CSP), namely – on devices concentrating solar light for further usage for generating electricity and heat. CSP is one of the technologies which holds the promise of solving the traditional issues of renewable energy – unpredictable generation of energy from renewable sources. Combining CSP with thermal energy storage modules allows to make energy available on demand around the clock while accumulating it at the time when the sunlight is abundant.

Part of EnergyTorrent construction set

We see CSP technologies as one of the components of the EnergyTorrent project which will allow everyone to use locally available renewable energy sources. CSP technology can be used in many diverse ways and combination – from generating thermal energy to generating electricity and co-generation.

Partners

Besides the core team organizing SunnyDay, several partners have already joined the event. Among them – Atmosfera.ua, KHakerSpace, Black Energy. We are now in active negotiation with a number of organizations willing to join the hackathon fun.

Updates are coming

This is just an initial announcement. We will soon announce the rules of the hackathon, open up registration. So, many great news are coming 🙂

First Stirling engine running

It is already two weeks that EnergyTorrent is testing its first Stirling engine. We have given it dosens of testings and it seems to work pretty good. Here is a short video demostrating one of the first runs of our Stirling engine.

We have used one of the freely available technical drawings to make this Stirling engine. It is far from high efficiency, but it is a good start for our project 🙂

Nearing the assembly of first Stirling engine

EnergyTorrent project has some good news!

Stirling engine

We are finishing the machining of the details of our very first Stirling engine. 🙂

The sort of engine we wil be asembling soon is on the picture. It is not really a powerful one, but it is good as a first step. And for EnergyTorrent community it is an important one.

Why so important? There are several of reasons:

  • As people see some some kind of real technology implemented in metal by a small community they will understand what is possible to achieve in EnergyTorrent project 🙂
  • Stirling engine is one of those crucial items for a full-fledged energy construction set, since it can consume heat from any source

Will update soon on new stuff coming 🙂

For those who are not really familar with what Stirling engine is, here`s the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stirling_engine