This project focuses on the development of simple electronic devices, micro power generation and the arduino micro controller.
I have also been working closely with open hardware and sustainable power experts Suneil Tagore and Trystan Lea from Open Sustainable Technologies and the Open Energy Monitor project. Trystan and Suneil have been invaluable to the project, sharing their knowledge about micro energy generation and advising on everything from circuit diagram interpretation to charge control for solar power and cut in speeds for wind turbines.
On Suneil and Trystan’s advice, the devices make extensive use of recycled stepper motors from defunct inkjet printers. These produce Alternating Current (AC) power which is then converted to Direct Current (DC) via bridge rectification. The voltage is then stepped down via voltage regulation before being used to light an LED array, the LEDs being wired in series. The water turbine also includes an arduino driven charge control device to prevent the battery from over charging. I’ll post a circuit diagram, or more likely a drawing for this in due course, but a search for ‘arduino charge control’ should give you a starting point if you’re interested.
The project has been generously funded by Powys County Council’s Chance to Create Scheme. Mentoring, with Suneil and Trystan, and career development consultation with curator Anna Douglas has been made possible by Chance to Create’s Mentoring Support Programme.