Things that would be cool

Storing energy in superconducting magnets/kinetic motors instead of batteries Solar sails for window shades – possibly with controllable light permission? Solar fabric on shade umbrellas? Prettier solar panels on light poles – curve around the pole, small gas-filled pistons to control elevation. (pistons = solar thermal, no electricity) Designers – help us make prettier solar…

Sustainable Energy – Final

For my final I would like to explore the idea of human-powered artwork and wasted energy. What I think of as wasted energy is energy humans expend doing daily activities that exceeds demand of the task. We are already doing work with our bodies to move – is there any way to harvest more of…

Sustainable Energy – Class Notes

Week 5 Betz’s Law of turbine efficiency The first time I heard it, I thought we were saying “Bete’s Law” as in French for “Fool’s Law”. But it turns out it is quite clever – basically, once a body of water moves from side A to side B, it is now in the way when…

Sustainable Energy – Class Notes

I was really disappointed by the kneegen article. I always wanted to have a self-powered exoskeleton, and the efficiency is just nowhere close. Some interesting other attempts to harness energy expended through daily activity have popped up: Triboluminescence via nanowires aka, the Power Bra At one point I wanted to design a liquid-based knee-gen-like system,…

Sustainable Energy – Class notes

Week 3 Photovoltaic science is AWESOME. And it keeps improving. While we have access to traditional stiff panels, thin film PV is on the way. Combined with paper batteries, we could really see a “Power Suit” in our lifetime. According to this round-up the thin-film PV is at 19.9% efficiency so far! -US National Renewable…

Sustainable Energy – Class notes

Week 2 Our assignment was to bring in an energy converter to explore in class. I have been fascinated by triboluminescence and fractoluminescence for a long time. When we talked about piezo elements in PCOMP I wanted to try to make my own piezo crystals – but even well made home brew crystals don’t generate…

Midterm – Sustainable Energy – Wimshurst Machine update

The goal of this project is to replicate the classic electrostatic generator known as a Wimshurst machine. Included in this project is the goal of studying DIY capacitors using different size Leyden Jars (see previous Wimshurst post for more info). This project has stretched my limits in terms of craftsmanship. I used some machines for…

Nature of Code Midterm

I really loved the game Flower. So I decided to make a particle-based flower simulation with toxiclibs’ VerletPhysics2D. For the midterm I made a flower with several petals, that bends in response to applied force – gravity and wind. For the final, I would like to make all the petals as small mesh pieces, like…