Category Archives: green hacks

When Every Last Nanoamp Matters

You can get electricity from just about anything. That old crystal radio kit you built as a kid taught you that, but how about doing something a little more interesting than listening to the local AM station with an earpiece connected to a radiator? That’s what the Electron Bucket is aiming to do. It’s a power harvesting device that grabs electricity from just about anywhere, whether it’s a piece of aluminum foil or a bunch of LEDs.

The basic idea behind the Electron Bucket is to harvest ambient radio waves just like your old crystal radio kit. There’s a voltage …read more

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Posted in 2018 Hackaday Prize, green hacks, led, nanoamp, radio hacks, The Hackaday Prize | Leave a comment

DIY Wind Turbine for Where the Sun Doesn’t Shine

There are plenty of places outside where you may like to have a project requiring electricity that may not get enough sun for solar power to be viable. Perhaps wind power could be used instead? [Greg] has a project to create a platform for using a small wind turbine to generate the power for your projects.

The wind turbine that [Greg] designing is a Savonius-style wind turbine that would put out between 5 and 12 volts. In a Savonius turbine, blades are mounted on a vertical axis allowing for a smaller, less complicated build than traditional horizontal axis wind turbines. …read more

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Posted in generate power, green hacks, savonius wind turbine, The Hackaday Prize, vertical axis wind turbine, Wind turbine | Leave a comment

Power Generation Modules Mix and Match Wind, Water, and Hand Cranks

What’s great about the Power Generation Modules project headed by [Cole B] is the focus on usability and modularity. The project is a system for powering and charging small devices using any number and combination of generator modules: wind turbine, hand-crank, and water turbine so far. Power management and storage is handled by a separate unit that acts as a battery bank to store the output from up to six generators at once. There’s also a separate LED lamp module, designed to be capable of being powered directly from any of the generator modules if needed.

The hand crank is …read more

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Posted in 2018 Hackaday Prize, 3d printed, generator, green hacks, hand crank, LED lighting, off grid, The Hackaday Prize, turbine, water power, water turbine, wind power, Wind turbine | Leave a comment

Lily Power Pods Make the Seebeck Effect Look Good

The Seebeck effect (part of the broader thermoelectric effect) is how a difference in temperature can be directly converted into a voltage, and it is the operating principle behind things like thermocouples and Peltier junctions. Harnessing this effect in an effort to wrangle a useful electrical current out of the environment has led to some interesting ideas, like the Lily Power Pods by [Josh Starnes].

What’s interesting about this particular design is that the artistic angle crosses over with functionality. Electrically speaking, the pods have one side of the thermoelectric generator heated by the sun while the other is cooled …read more

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Posted in 2018 Hackaday Prize, generator, green hacks, peltier, seebeck, solar hacks, The Hackaday Prize, thermoelectric, thermoelectric effect | Leave a comment

PTPM Energy Scavenger Aims for Maintenance-Free Sensor Nodes

[Mile]’s PTPM Energy Scavenger takes the scavenging idea seriously and is designed to gather not only solar power but also energy from temperature differentials, vibrations, and magnetic induction. The idea is to make wireless sensor nodes that can be self-powered and require minimal maintenance. There’s more to the idea than simply doing away with batteries; if the devices are rugged and don’t need maintenance, they can be installed in locations that would otherwise be impractical or awkward. [Mile] says that goal is to reduce the most costly part of any supply chain: human labor.

The prototype is working well with …read more

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Posted in 2018 Hackaday Prize, arm, battery, energy harvesting, generator, green hacks, LTC3331, magnetic induction, piezo, piezoelectric, power, recharge, rechargeable, selectable voltage, sensor, sensor node, solar, solar hacks, supercap, The Hackaday Prize, Thermal, thermoelectric, wireless | Leave a comment

Flat Pack Generators

We just wrapped up the Power Harvesting challenge in the Hackaday Prize, and with that comes some solutions to getting power in some very remote places. [Vijay]’s project is one of the best, because his project is getting power in Antarctica. This is a difficult environment: you don’t have the sun for a significant part of the year, it’s cold, and you need to actually get your equipment down to the continent. [Vijay]’s solution was to use one of Antarctica’s greatest resources — wind — in an ingenious flat pack wind turbine.

There are a few problems to harvesting wind …read more

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Posted in 2018 Hackaday Prize, brushless, brushless motor, generator, green hacks, The Hackaday Prize, Wind turbine | Leave a comment

Vampire Charger is a Rugged Anything-to-5VDC Converter

USB sockets providing 5 VDC are so ubiquitous as a power source that just about any piece of modern portable technology can use them to run or charge. USB power is so common, in fact, that it’s easy to take for granted. But in an emergency or in the wake of a disaster, a working cell phone or GPS can be a life saver and it would be wise not to count on the availability of a clean, reliable USB power supply.

That’s where the Vampire Charger by [Matteo Borri] and [Lisa Rein] comes in. It is a piece of …read more

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Posted in 2018 Hackaday Prize, 5v, disaster, emergency, emergency power, green hacks, hardware, power conversion, Power Harvesting, The Hackaday Prize, usb, vampire | Leave a comment

Micro-Organisms Give Up the Volts in this Biological Battery

Battery cells work by chemical reactions, and the fascinating Hybrid Microbial Fuel Cell design by [Josh Starnes] is no different. True, batteries don’t normally contain life, but the process coughs up useful electrons all the same; 1.7 V per cell in [Josh]’s design, to be precise. His proof of concept consists of eight cells in parallel, enough to give his cell phone a charge via a DC-DC boost converter. He says it’s not known how long this can be expected to last before the voltage drops to an unusable level, but it works!

There are two complementary sides to …read more

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Posted in 2018 Hackaday Prize, 3d printed, battery, biology, Chemistry, chemistry hacks, fuel cell, green hacks, photosynthesis, phytoplankton, plankton, The Hackaday Prize | Leave a comment

Hackaday Belgrade: Luka Mustafa on Exploiting IoT Niches

Ecology is a strange discipline. At its most basic, it’s the study of how living things interact with their environment. It doesn’t so much seek to explain how life works, but rather how lives work together. A guiding principle of ecology is that life finds a way to exploit niches, subregions within the larger world with a particular mix of resources and challenges. It’s actually all quite fascinating.

But what does ecology have to do with Luka Mustafa’s talk at the 2018 Hackaday Belgrade Conference? Everything, as it turns out, and not just because Luka and his colleagues put IoT …read more

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Posted in cons, conservation, ecology, ecosystems, gateway, green hacks, Hackaday Belgrade 2018, Hackaday Columns, image analysis, IoT, iridium, LoRaWAN, mapping, PiCam, Raspberry Pi, sensors | Leave a comment