Thanks everyone for coming! We had a successful and informative day, and worked out many ticks. By the end, everyone had a fully functional personal powerPlant.
The personal powerPlant is a portable device that harnesses electricity through a solar cell and hand crank generator, into a NiMH battery. The device also includes a volt meter that monitors the amount of energy stored. The personal powerPlant can be used to power applications up to 8V.
Schematic circuit for the personal powerPlant.
Printed Board Diagram that can be placed on perf board to place and solder components.
For the power plant circuit
1 - Stepper motor (Japan Servo KP4M4-029 12VDC)
1 - Solar panel (8V)
1 - NiMH battery (7.2V, 70 mA)
9 - 1N4001 Diodes
3 - Terminals
1 - 5 pin male header
18 or 20 gauge solid wire (red, black, blue, green)
For the visual multimeter
1 - Red LED, 1.5V
1 - Yellow LED, 1.5 V
1 - Green LED, 1.5 V
1 - 100 Ohm resistor
1 - 150 Ohm resistor
1 1N4730 zener diode
1 1N4733 zener diode
1 1N4737 zener diode
1 momentary switch
PCB prototyping board
Printed Board Diagram (above)
The last night of preperation for the workshop… putting all of the kits together.
Here are some more images of research and experimentation for the workshop we are doing at Eyebeam on 06.23.07.
Using a wooden hand crank to pump the motor, attached to rectifiers and battery for testing.
Motor board with battery and switch. We are powering the arduino off of the battery.
Testing the batttery to see how much energy has been stored.
Circuitry for the system with motor, rectifiers, battery, and voltage meter.
The Revolution Door is a modified revolving door comprised of three parts - a redesigned central core that replaces the core of any existing or new revolving door, a mechanical/electrical system that harnesses human energy and redistributes electricity to an output device, and an output lighting system that maps the harnessed energy over a specified period of time. The Revolution Door harnesses a negligible amount of human energy for use within a building as a tangible light display; directly communicating a single person’s contribution to an energy cycle possible through the metabolic relationship between people, technology, and architecture.
Through a partnership with Natalie Jeremijenko, The Revolution Door has recently been awarded a grant through NYU’s Sustainability Fund for design and prototyping. The proposal is to install a modified revolving door top on one of the existing doors to BOBST library. An integrated light display will communicate to students that they are donating a small amount of their muscle energy to make electricity. The project is in conjunction with Jeremijenko’s Environmental Health Clinic which will monitor student’s willingness choose the Revolution Door, which may be more difficult to push, over the other two standard doors.
On June 23, we are doing a workshop with Mouna Andraos, a R&D fellow at Eyebeam, on Alternative Energy. We have come up with a DIY kit called the “Alternative Power Plant”. This device can harness energy from solar, wind, and human sources. In conjunction with the Scrapyard Challenge put on my Jonah Bruckner-Cohen, participants will use the energy from their Power Plant to power a MIDI device created from found objects.
Putting together a circuit for a “visual volt meter” to visually display how much electricity is being harnessed.
Attaching a solar panel and (super) capacitor to test the visual volt meter.
Using a multimeter to double check if the volt meter is accurately displaying the electricity being sent to the capacitor. It works!!!
Here are some images of testing the output of the prototypes and trying to regulate the current over the weekend at Eyebeam. Our new assistant Mike Dory has been a great help to get some real numbers. Thanks Mike!
Prototype A with LED’s blinking!
Rectifying the motor to convert AC to DC. We are using a stepper motor with 5 wires, so we need two rectifying circuits (each comprised of 4 diodes).
Short video testing the motor with rectifiers.
Here are a few images and a quick clip of a simple spring mechanism to jumpstart movement for the Revolving Door. One of the primary issues of using a revolving door to harness electricity is that the door moves slowly, but with a lot of torque. In order to most effectively generate an electric current, we need a lot of speed (to spin magnets & wire coils past each other) but not a lot of torque. By using a combination of springs and gears we can easily convert slow speed/high torque to high speed/low torque which yields more electrical output.