The Idea

EnergyTorrent project aims to make renewable energy technologies more affordable / accessible to small and medium businesses, local communities and homeowners via means of collective approach and community-driven development of open-source renewable energy technologies.

Open source is truly renewable

The idea behind EnergyTorrent project is simple – truly sustainable development requires open source technologies. And it is very true for the renewable energy which is one of the cornerstones of the sustainable development.

We think that technology which is important for everyone on our planet must to be available for everyone. We also believe that the best way to provide such knowledge to general public is to make it open-source so that everyone could benefit from the community-developed technologies. And also we could see from many open-source technologies that they are truly renewable.

Many technologies which exist as open-source follow the idea “Reuse-Reduce-Recycle”. For example, many DIY robotics technologies rely on other open-source technologies such as Arduino, all kinds of open source kits, programming languages and desktop open-source software.

It is now a good time to combine open-source approaches with renewable energy technologies, since now we have all the necessary stuff for that. And the core thing for each open-source project is community. So, you are welcome to join EnergyTorrent and start seeding knowledge and sharing it with others!

Renewable energy construction kit

Basically all open-source is a kind of construction kit. Be it Linux distribution or Arduino or DIY Drone – all of them are providing compatible parts and the knowledge how to assemble them into a ready-to-use product. But it is the user who can modify the parts and create products with features which work namely for him, not someone other.

Our community is aimed to make a renewable energy construction kit. It will include different parts/modules such as solar concentrators, Stirling engines, biogas digesters, synthesis gas generator. It will allow anyone to:

  • re-configure the parts and unite them in a way allowing to match the budget available
  • use the readily available local renewable energy resources (sunlight, plant biomass, animal waste, etc)
  • use local materials
  • depend just on his/her own budget
  • contribute new technology and knowledge to the  community

Building one of such open-source technology toolkits we are more than happy to make it compatible with other open-source projects. Thus we plan to work closely with Open Source Ecology community who are building a Global Village Construction Set. Truth be told they are the one who inspire us to work on our project.

Technologies we are working on

EnergyTorrent Project allows different teams and participants to work collectively and individually developing various renewable energy technologies. Project participants are welcomed and encouraged to develop various technological directions and projects.

At the same time for the first stage of the project as well as for the promotion of the idea of an open development of energy technologies there is a need to focus on several showcase technologies. These first renewable energy technologies to be developed will demonstrate to wider audience the viability of open source renewable energy idea. These first technologies which will be developed in the framework of the EnergyTorrent are the following:

  • Biogas digester. The principle of animal and plant biomass digesting is known for dozens of years. Though there is no reliable and well-tested technological schemes as well as open solutions which would be available to general public. There are some biogas technologies descriptions scattered through Internet, but they are fragmented and incomplete.
  • Stirling Engine. The technology of external combustion engine with a Stirling cycle was invented in 1816, and Stirling engines themselves are widely used in energy sphere, space, military and many other applications. Though the technology is known for quite a long time currently there is no open implementations of this technology.
  • Gas generator (synthesis-gas generator, utile-gas generator) – a technology allowing to generate burnable gas from plant biomass.

Enlisted are only first technologies, which will allow to demonstrate the applicability of open-source model for renewable energy technologies as well as inspire, motivate and engage a “second wave” of EnergyTorrent Project participants who will form new or join existing teams on developing open renewable energy technologies.

Inspiration

EnergyTorrent project has a lot of inspiration coming from a whole range of great communities, projects, people and technologies. Here are some of them:

  • Bittorent
  • Open Source Ecology
  • DIY Drones
  • Wikipedia
  • Linux
  • Arduino
  • RepRap