• Wind datalogging

    mario.milanesio05/30/2016 at 13:56 0 comments

    From my first experience with Arduino Duemilanove in late days in 2010 it was love at first sight!

    I finally had the possibility to interact with a microcontroller in a simple way, maybe rough but for sure cost effective.

    During 2012 I built my first wind datalogger, solar powered, as told here. It worked fine, even tough it was simple and not so much energy saving...but a simple 2W panel was enough, and I was able to analyze data and be sure there is enough wind.

    The anemometer was a Vortex one, firstly: a simple reed closing each turn. Secondly I chose a Deltatronic one, cheaper and sturdy.

    A Seeedstudio Solar shield, with a sketch able to send Arduino in deep sleep made it possible to collect data every 30 seconds or 60 seconds, far away more than commercial wind datalogger, and save data every 2 minutes on an SD card. It worked fine for more than one year, attached are a sample log file and the corresponding wind data analyzed, and the Arduino sketch I'm using in Zanzibar in a similar way by now.

    The bad: you have to send someone you taught before to go to datalogging pole mount, extract SD card, copy on a PC and send by email. Not so diffucult, not so simple.

    I tried with an Arduino Yun with a USB pendrive with a SIM: it worked, but it was not so cost effective, and power hungry.

    Last year I joined a crowdfunding campaign in order to obtain a microcontroller as simple as Arduino, with an international M2M SIM card.

    Now it is time to send wind data over the net!

  • Project sequence: what we are going to do

    mario.milanesio05/30/2016 at 13:36 0 comments

    This is the sequence I think I will follow during this summer to build a complete Aloise turbine:

    • definition of the key points of the project: done
    • evaluation of turbine dimensions in order to serve Aloise needs: on going
    • selection of the best vertical wind turbine considering the African context: on going
    • wind tunnel tests: Savonius and Darrieus type turbines: to do
    • simulation with a great open-source software, Q-Blade and data validation: to do
    • selection of the best fitting PMG generator, between bicycle hub dynamos and scooter alternator: on going
    • building an MPPT simple charger, Arduino based: to do
    • completion of 3G anemometer with Particle/Hologram SIM in order to send wind data directly on a server: to do
    • completion of a local SD memory wind datalogger: on going (done...!)
    • prototype building: to do
    • prototype testing: to do

    Obviously I can't do this all alone. Mirko will help me, as usual, and a couple of colleagues will be involved during the summer.

    And ok, in field tests will be done as always we did before... ;-) have a look to the videos!

  • Energy audit in Aloise house.

    mario.milanesio05/30/2016 at 13:15 0 comments

    Cristiano and me had the possibility to visit Aloise house in Ilembula. He was happy to show us his house he built by himself.

    It was nice, simple and clean. He has a stable work as foreman in the Catholic Parish, so his family and him live probably better than other neighborhoods.

    According to him he has an agreement with the priest (Father Tarcisio Moreschi): beside his salary he can recharge an old truck battery in the garage, using the parish electricity, every time he needs.

    Tanesco is the electricity provider all over the country, but the grid is really bad, the electricity is expensive, and the grid covers only a few areas, especially bigger towns and cities.

    So having an off-grid system to produce electricity can be a great choice.

    But...how much electricity does a common family need, over there?

    We had the possibility to ask Aloise how much he consume, day by day:

    • 2 led strips, 5W + 5W, 5hours per day
    • television, 33W, 3/4 hours per day

    Nothing else.

    More or less something like 180Wh per day, or 15Ah@12V, or 7.5Ah@24V (since the battery he uses comes from an old truck). Not so much, no surprise thinking Aloise told us the battery lasts up to a month if used only with leds, or 3/4 days if using TV.

    The battery, clearly, is not the one he should use for such service. But this is it.

    Wind blows hard over his roofs for 6 hours a day, during the night, usually: good!
    It could be possible to recharge over night and use power along the day. Nice!

    I will show you a simple wind turbine able to outcome 20Watt@5m/s wind would be enough, with, ok, a better battery and a specific charger.

    I'm going to build this.

    Following the original papers, with numbers and money needed, I took at Aloise home

  • a long story before

    mario.milanesio05/30/2016 at 00:34 0 comments

    First Log. Here we are with Hackaday Prize! But...there's a long story before!

    The VentolONE Challenge goes on from the experience of the VentolONE team, dissolved during early 2015 because of unpleasant disagreements subsequent a failed startup aiming to produce wind turbines.

    The VentolONE Challenge aims to go beyond that experience, remembering positive and negative aspects of the previous one. I learned some things:

    - success, even if small and relative, calls lots of social climbers

    - I'm not an entrepreneurs, neither other members

    - everywhere you can hear about 3D printing, renewable energies, sharing economy because this is trendy: sometimes who is speaking doesn't know what is talking about, but he talks...in a nice way

    - with simplicity and awareness of our limits we want to build or, better, complete something useful for someone else, just like a simple wind turbine with a generator, and we like to share this with other people.

    The group is now made by two members, engineers, technicians and high school teachers, with a lot of curiosity and a good dose of resourcefulness and imagination. Everyone of us has specific skills, too: we collected many experiences during early years to share with all the people around us or following official blog.

    Group's motto: make it renewable, spread your knowledge, do it together!