I just bought this solar charged (7 hrs charge = 5,5 hrs use) flashlight from IKEA. The first impression is an rather inelegant flashlight, but it is intended to stand on its metal support. The main body feels very rugged and is quite heavy. No squeaking parts. The metal support however snaps off its pivot hinges without any help. The on/off button have a surprisingly good feel to it. It is now standing in my window, side by side with the Sun Jar (Picture coming up). See all pictures tagged Jäppling
Rechargeable Batteries with Solar Cells Project by Knut Karlsen
At home i always have some batteries lying around, either rechargeable or normal ones. Usually they are empty, but i'd like them to be always fully charged. I could use a normal charger and there is a lot of solar devices that charge rechargeable batteries. I wanted it simpler; why hasn't anyone made a battery with integrated solar cells? The idea of the "SunCat" batteries where born. The batteries should just bask in the sun like a cat and left for a while, in a sunny window, they would slowly recharge.
Prototypes During my research for my diploma i was in touch with scientists at IFE that experimented with the production of flexible solar cells. They where kind enough to send me some samples in the right dimensions that i could use for the prototypes (full set at flickr):
I had some older NiMH rechargeable batteries that i glued the flexible Photo Voltaic (PV) cells onto. The PV cells are rated at 1.8V and…
Energy Monitoring The more I dig into this material, the more I find people and companies that are developing ideas on energy managment. Living in Norway and looking into this field has some disadvantages: Awareness to energy consumption and systems to increase awareness are almost non existing. Utilities stopped charging for over use and peak consumption a long time ago and since then people have had few incentives for tracking those parameters. Regulations, such as mandatory smart meter installations, are very important for change on a big scale in energy infrastructure at the moment. The previous post targeted independent initiatives to enable people to track their energy consumption and the reduce bill or carbon footprint. Barack Obama throwing money at energy initiatives these days could account for some of google's interest. I conducted a search mission for the energy companies endeavours in the home monitoring market:
Energy Dashboards The utilities that either have automatic …
Now things start to warm up. Processing looks very promising as a tool to quikly move into interactive realtime graphics. And it's open source. Combining programming wih a graphical output is very satisfying.