Monday, July 14, 2008

Energy Sock Puppets


What would the various energy types say if they were in front of you? Maybe it would be something like this. This video is not the best, but it was an interesting way of presenting the information.

The show was presented at Solarfest 2008 in the Youth Track. Kids were receptive to it, and had a lot of good insight as to the types of renewable energies and how they fit into the big picture. The show was fun. Afterwards, the facilitators passed out hand cranks to show how you can make your own electricity, and answered questions. They compared three types of light bulbs, Incandescent, compact Flourescent (CFL) and Light Emitting Diodes (LED). Apparently there is a lot of promise in LEDs because of their greatly increased use of energy efficiency.


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Friday, June 06, 2008

Solar Panel simulator in Scratch

Learn more about this project

This is a project I have been cooking up this week to combine Solar Energy with Scratch. Scratch is a programming environment created by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab.

You can move the mouse over the left hand side to show a sprite which will allow you to adjust the brightness. If you have access to a Scratch Board, this script makes use of the light sensor on the board.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Mendocino Motor

The Mendocino Motor is a great project in which you make a solar powered, magnetically levitating motor. We use a 1 inch square balsa block to serve as the rotor, cut the corners off with a 1/4 inch router bit. The motor is wrapped with 32 guage magnet wire. the solar panels are 3/4 inch by 1 3/4 inch cells with tabs. When it is running well, it goes pretty fast.

Click on the video to see it run.

Mendo Motor Process - link
Mendocino motor measurements - Link
photos - link

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