On Mon, Jul 2, 2012 at 8:51 PM, Ken Boak <ken.b...
> Very interesting - taking mobile phone charging off the grid.
> You should look at what Moixa are doing - a low voltage dc, renewable
> (solar) micro-grid.
> Rather than everyone having a "roof full of pv panels" you have just one,
> of about 300W which you can take with you when you move apartment.
> It recharges a battery during the day, and in the evening you have low
> voltage dc to recharge your phone, power your entertainment, laptop etc.
> It takes your electronic devices off grid - and as more and more of our
> possessions are electronics, it makes sense to power these from PV.
> Who needs the inefficiency of ac chargers, when modern power electronics can
> convert dc voltage up and down - with very high efficiency.
> With small scale personal PV, - an ideal candidate to get them all talking
> via IoT, and provide valuable performance data - about how much energy you
> had taken off the grid.
> On Monday, 2 July 2012 19:04:19 UTC+1, Ed Borden wrote:
>> These notes were written by Dan Selden (@dss49), Hirumi Nanayakkara
>> (@hirumianajones), and Estefanie Duque (@stefyduq) during a trip to
>> Europe early June 2012:
>> Hack Day:
>> The Sensemakers team splintered into 3 groups, but we all focused on
>> the overarching theme we dubbed “The Digital Metabolism of The Urban
>> Nomad.” We basically were looking at microenergy harvestation
>> opportunities in the daily life of the urban citizen.
>> It was great to meet and work with the Amsterdam Sensemakers team, but
>> also work with completely random people from the Eindhoven community
>> who are interested in renewable energy mechanisms. All of our
>> subgroups recruited people we never met before, which made room for
>> new ideas and awesome prototypes. Bert and I worked on using potted
>> plants to harvest power, Estefanie’s team applied the KinetiKit
>> circuit to objects (pinwheels, wheely shoes, turntables) and Dan’s
>> team prototyped a walking stick that charges USB devices.
>> Jam Session (Day 1):
>> We just wrapped up 2 days of jamming on decentralized power systems at
>> the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven. We got a bunch of people together
>> who are committed and passionate about disrupting current systems of
>> power generation and distribution.
>> Ed and Amsterdam-based Sensemaker Casper moderated our work sessions.
>> We kicked things off with a few presentations, including some talks
>> from Dan, Estefanie, and I on our past research and what we worked on
>> at the Science Hack Day. We drew a lot of inspiration from Jeremy
>> Rifken’s work and plastered the walls with post its of ideas, quotes,
>> and images of what we found noteable and inspiring. Attendee Tim van
>> de Rijt talked a bit about the platform he’s currently developing:
>> energysharing.com, which spurred an open discussion on what we
>> envision the future of energy sharing to be and how those interactions
>> would play out.
>> From there, we broke into teams to focus our ideas by doing user
>> scenarios for three different personas. The daily activities and
>> opportunities of energy creation and exchange were white-boarded for a
>> housemom/dad, a freelancer, and a business person.
>> Our story is largely centered on the archaic foundation of centralized
>> power systems. We, as a society, have progressed to be a mobile
>> people. Much of what we do is based on tools of communication (phones,
>> tablets, laptops, etc…) but those devices are limited by power, by our
>> dependance on the electrical grid. To narrow our focus, we decided to
>> work through visualizing a system that would take powering cell phones
>> off the grid.
>> After a show and tell session of our findings, we switched gears and
>> isolated 3 different domains that needed exploration to begin making
>> our ideas more tangible and accessible to a greater audience:
>> sharing: what does a energy sharing mechanism look like? (physically
>> and virtually)
>> product: what types of products will be involved in energy harvesting
>> story: what is the story we are trying to tell?
>> After another round of show and tell, we scrambled groups to iterate
>> on the previous teams process. Our biggest hurdle was/is the sharing
>> mechanism. We kept running into the issue of storage, battery
>> transactions, and visualizing the decentralized, peer to peer energy
>> sharing grid (now dubbed The Intergrid). The discussions of the ethics
>> behind energy sharing were also discussed. Should people be selling
>> their energy? Is purely freely available energy the right thinking
>> (Wikipedia model where everyone benefits, but success is reliant upon
>> the minority of hyper-users)? We talked about citizens in a community
>> who enjoy gardening, and how although its not a cheap hobby, people
>> happily and gladly give away things that they grow to those around
>> them. Could energy possibly function in the same way?
>> It was a super productive day and after lots of great ideas,
>> storyboarding, and open discussions, we broke for dinner and drinks
>> and continue the jam session tomorrow!
>> Jam Session (Day 2):
>> The best/worst part of the design process is finding flaws in your
>> system, and throwing out a previously crafted vision for one that, for
>> lack of a better phrase, makes more sense.
>> Our redirection came primarily from the central issue, which is
>> determining how independently created energy would be accessed and
>> In order to start a movement, you need momentum. For us, that means
>> building a framework for a community to a) learn about energy
>> producing technologies and b) sharing that information with each other
>> and the public.
>> No, our current prototypes don’t create mass amounts of power, but our
>> goal right now is to harness the everyday actions of people with tools
>> that collect power. In order to achieve this, we decided that we must
>> complete the following:
>> people must have devices that harvest energy
>> these devices must be quantifiable, in that the amount of power
>> created needs to be uploaded and shared
>> a web platform must exist, where independent energy producers are able
>> to share their own data on the quantity of energy they are producing,
>> where they are in the world, and how they are doing so.
>> We see these goals being fulfilled by way of Kickstarter, where we can
>> deliver micro-energy harvesting devices to a large amount of people.
>> From there we can monitor natural trends within the community, and
>> what kinds of sharing tactics occur amongst users. Emerging behaviors
>> with our target demographic seem more useful and feasible in designing
>> the infrastructure for a larger sharing system instead of dictating
>> how sharing energy should function.
>> Our next steps include iterating through our products a bit more so
>> that they are easily understood and useable by the average person. We
>> also need to continue to refine our concept and the story behind it to
>> continue to gain momentum and excitement.
>> Third industrial revolution, here we come!
>> --------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------
>> Some Resources
>> Bob Metcalfe
>> Reflecting on conversation today (6.15), seems like there is some
>> good effort happening between public and private sectors to start
>> realizing some of this shift.. most notably in Germany... but how do
>> you connect with people? I think the community aspect needs to be
>> addressed in order to create the pressure needed to see this shift
>> occur elsewhere. This can be facilitated by participation and data...
>> convergence of quantified self and energy. The innovation in energy
>> can come later... the innovation in connecting the quantified self
>> London Notes
>> Beginning to see a transformation toward green renewables. Are we
>> going about it in the right way?
>> Traditionally, energy has been created by extracting fossil fuels from
>> specific locations… which makes sense when the resources are sparse.
>> Vertical systems of organization are necessary to manage such a large
>> centralized system.
>> With demand for green energy and reduced CO2 on the rise, energy
>> companies are naturally beginning to embrace green technologies…
>> however they are applying a fossil fuel collection mentality, lots of
>> wind turbines in areas where it is windy, lots of solar farms where it
>> is sunny etc… and relying on heavy centralization to produce and
>> distribute energy. Yet this model makes no sense when the resource is
>> literally everywhere.
>> We are dependent on the inefficient centralized supply… even through
>> renewables we end up paying the energy company in transaction fees, if
>> selling back to the grid is an option.
>> A decentralized peer to peer renewable energy system, on the other
>> hand, managed and coordinated using the internet (which has already
>> proved capable of organizing large horizontal systems) news to be the
>> future. We must become owners of our own energy. We can be both the
>> producers and the consumers. With renewables, a horizontal system
>> needs to be in place…
>> Jeremy rifkin… a energy and economic consultant has been talking about
>> this future for years… he envisions"hundreds of millions of human
>> beings will be generating their own green energy in their homes,
>> offices, and factories and sharing it with one another across
>> intelligent distributed electricity networks-an intergrid- just like
>> people now create their own information and share it on the internet."
>> Rifkin sees this as a essential to ushering in a third industrial
>> revolution that will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and spur new
>> innovations at unprecedented rates. Yet he is working with industry
>> and the EU government to realize this goal… a slow moving political
>> machine that is still tied to an entrenched energy industry. Yet the
>> EU is still making more progress towards this so described smart grid.
>> The US is even further behind… our idea of a smart grid is
>> unfortunately simply a centralized system with a smart metering
>> In any case, we're asking the question, how do we begin fostering a
>> community around peer to peer energy and how can we build the
>> infrastructure (loosely defined) to increase the pace of this
>> This is what the past week or so has been about… exploring micro
>> generation at an individual level and brainstorming ways for us to
>> connect and share the data of this lifestyle and eventually our
>> energy. We've struggled to define this as off-grid or smart-grid and
>> so for now are just sticking with peer to peer.
>> We're not the only people who envision this future, but we think we
>> can help get more people on board.