Renewable Energy Innovation

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Knowledge is power. Training and education are vital to increasing awareness around environmental issues and to producing realistic solutions to those issues.

Re-innovation provides a wide range of training lectures and hands-on workshops, catering to a wide range of abilities.

Re-innovation has provided training for the City and Guilds 'Domestic PV installation' course for electricians and the AEES MSc at the Centre of Alternative Technology (CAT), lectures on stand-alone power supply systems for the Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST) in Loughborough University and has provided hands-on training on solar PV systems for Engineers Without Borders UK (EWB-UK).

This section provides information on the various courses we can offer. If you would like re-innovation to provide a training course, please contact us for more information.

 

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I have run a number of solar photovoltaic and off-grid power hands-on workshops and I recently ran another solar PV workshop with EWB Sheffield.

Engineers Without Borders UK (EWB-UK) is a student run organisation trying to connect engineers with the field of international development. They do this through placements, training and outreach programs.

 

 

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Here are some photos from a DIY 'Build a Solar Torch' workshop I ran for Engineers Without Borders Nottingham.

There were twenty participants and they all built a small torch which runs from solar power, hopefully learning skills including soldering and mechanical design.


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Cyclops Pedal Power, based in Leeds, kindly invited me to work with them on their pedal power equipment.

They wanted to record the power and energy from their three-bike set-up, and have a system that can be expanded for more and more generators.

We had a three day workshop based in the fantastic Pedallers Arms working on monitoring voltage, current, power and energy.

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I have run a number of solar photovoltaic and off-grid power hands-on workshops and I recently ran another solar PV workshop with EWB Nottingham. This was a two hour workshop run at Nottingham hackspace.

Engineers Without Borders UK (EWB-UK) is a student run organisation trying to connect engineers with the field of international development. They do this through placements, training and outreach programs.

 

 

 

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In October 2014 I recorded a webinar on the open-source wind data-logger project for Wind Empowerment. This was the last in a series of four, which were aimed at practicioners of small wind turbines.

The webinar is available online here and will hopefully be translated into Spanish and French.

They are hoping to run one webinar a month relating to small wind turbines and development.

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Here are the build details and some photos from a DIY 'Build a Solar Phone Charger' workshop I ran at Nottingham Hackspace.

There were six participants and they all built a small phone charger which runs from solar power.

Full design details and instructions are available to download here.


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Last Saturday was Derby Mini Maker Faire 2013. This was a free family friendly event for people who make things. It was run at the newly re-furbished Derby Silk Mill, which is the worlds first automated factory.

I decided to run a DIY marble run (an idea I had run before at the Silk Mill). I set up a blank set of 'runs' which marbles can be dropped down. Then people can add things to make the marbles roll down in more interesting ways. People can also alter and adjust things other people had added.

This was run to try and get younger folk involved with science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.

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I have run a number of solar photovoltaic and off-grid power hands-on workshops and I recently ran another solar PV workshop with EWB Sheffield.

Engineers Without Borders UK (EWB-UK) is a student run organisation trying to connect engineers with the field of international development. They do this through placements, training and outreach programs.

 

 

 

 

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I recently ran another 'how to make a Printed Circuit Board' workshop at Nottingham Hackspace.

This time the PCB was a board to convert an old ATX power supply into a power supply, giving 3.3V, 5V, +/-12V fused outputs with terminal post connections. This PCB was quite simple and single sided.

Here is the full design (made using KiCAD) and some photos of the event.

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To celebrate the recent sunny weather, RE-Innovation will be running another solar PV workshop on Saturday August 31st from 11am to 5pm. In this work shop you will build one of our 10Wp solar DIY kits. We will also cover:

            • Solar Photovoltaic technologies
            • Resource assessment
            • Load assessment
            • System design
            • Building and taking home a working off-grid PV system
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I recently ran a 'how to make a Printed Circuit Board' workshop at Nottingham Hackspace. I decided to design a simple Arduino-style prototyping board for everyone to make. This PCB was quite simple and single sided. There is a small area for prototyping and the correct connections are available to add standard Arduino shields. Here is the full design (made using KiCAD) and some photos of the event.

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Following on from workshops I have done recently at Engineers Without Borders Edinburgh and with the Royal Academy of Engineering, I recently ran another solar PV workshop with EWB Sheffield.

Engineers Without Borders UK (EWB-UK) is a student run organisation trying to connect engineers with the field of international development. They do this through placements, training and outreach programs.

 

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For the past four years I have been working with Engineers Without Borders UK to provide a training workshop for the Royal Academy of Engineering.

A number of modules have been developed to engage undergraduate engineers with the challenges of international development. I developed a hands-on practical solar PV workshop, which is used on the energy module. The challenge is to build an off-grid power supply for a remote community, thinking about the load required, the available resource and other factors.

Engineers Without Borders UK (EWB-UK) is a student run organisation trying to connect engineers with the field of international development. They do this through placements, training and outreach programs.

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Engineers Without Borders UK (EWB-UK) is a student run organisation trying to connect engineers with the field of international development. They do this through placements, training and outreach programs.

EWB Edinburgh branch (they also have a web-page here) were running a week long event relating to Energy and International Development, with days on general development issues, solar PV, wind and water and sanitation. I was invited to run a practical session on solar PV, as I have done for the Royal Academy of Engineering and for the Small Is... Festival (run by EWB-UK and Practical Action).

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Due to my connection with Nottingham Hackspace, I was asked to provide the public participation activity for the What If?... machine day run at Derby Silk Mill as part of Derby Festé 2012.

I built a simple marble run to which the visitors could add bits and pieces (mainly found materials) to make the marble run more interesting.

A What If?.... machine is a crazy machine like the cartoons and ideas of Heath Robinson and Rube Goldberg. Derby Silk Mill had invited a number of groups to create a crazy machine which all linked together to create an amazing even more crazy machine.

This event attracted over 1000 visitors and the What If?... machine was tried out a number of times during the day. When the machine was not running then the young people (and the older people) could play with and add to the marble run.

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I recently helped with delivering a practical workshop on solar photovoltaics as part of a day-long event relating to Energy and International Development. This course was organised by Engineers Without Borders UK and funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng). The course participants were undergraduate engineers who had received the RAEng Leadership Award.

Course content was proveded by Milan Delor (on energy access), Jon Leary (on small wind turbine sustainability) and myself (stand-alone power supply systems and PV practical session). Jon and Milan also ran a role play workshop to try to highlight social issues of development projects.

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I have been involved with Engineers Without Borders UK for around 4 years, after going on a one-year placement working on remote rural power supply systems for an NGO in the Philippines, called SIBAT.

EWB-UK is a student run organisation trying to connect engineers with the field of international development. They do this through placements, training and outreach programs.

EWB Edinburgh branch (they also have a web-page here) were running a 4 day event relating to Energy and International Development, with days on general development issues, solar PV, wind and water and sanitation. I was invited to run a practical session on solar PV, as I have done for the Royal Academy of Engineering and for the Small Is... Festival (run by EWB-UK and Practical Action).

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I have been working at Loughborough University on the Low Effort Energy Demand Reduction (LEEDR) project. Chatting with a few of the researchers there I heard about a one-day workshop to stimulate debate on energy supply and demand within the UK. This was organised by students and researchers of the London-Loughborough Centre for Doctoral Research into Energy Demand, with the PV workshop being facilitated by Dan Quiggin of Demand Energy Equality.

The day involved a very practical session building a low cost solar PV panel, a session of games relating to the energy chain in the UK and a debate on the issues surrounding UK sustainable energy.

It was a great day where I met lots of interesting and motivated people, learnt some practical skills and got inspired. Here are some photos from the day and some information on building PV panels. I will be running a workshop to build a solar PV panel at the Nottingham Hackspace. Drop me an email if you are interested in attending.

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Last weekend I helped teach a course on DIY pedal generators along with Adam from Magnificent Revolution as one of the Low Impact Living Initiative (LILI) courses.

I really enjoyed teaching the course with 14 enthusiastic participants and having a mixture of taught information, practical hands-on sessions and discussion. We built four different pedal power configurations and explained generation, regulation, storage and power use.

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In June, Rewired State in conjunction with the Guardian ran a competition called (H)activate. This was a hack weekend, where software developers get together and work on some form of software/hardware challenge. The focus of the competition was to develop a phone application relating to an international development issue. One of the competition prizes was a weekend training with Engineers Without Borders. The weekend challenge (which happened recently, Oct 15/16th) was to build a self-sufficient 'pop-up' office which can be deployed quickly and easily. I was asked to run the solar power workshop to provide the office with light and power.

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Last year Engineers Without Borders UK provided 3 workshops on international development for the Royal Academy of Engineering. I helped produce and deliver the hands-on materials for the Energy in Development workshop. This year we repeated the workshop as part of an even wider set of workshop sessions.

This workshop was provided for the Royal Academy of Engineering’s engineering leadership award scheme, with 22 undergraduate engineers from a variety of backgrounds. The workshop consisted of lectures, role play sessions and practical hands-on sessions. I gave a short talk on stand-alone power supply systems with a focus on doing installations 'in the field'. They were then split into groups and each given the challenge of building a solar PV system to power the various loads I gave the group. In each group there was some form of challenge, maybe there were not enough PV modules to power the loads, or the battery was dead or a number of other problems. They looked into the energy balance of the system and produced a wiring diagram of the system. They then set about building and testing their own PV system. We set them up in what little sunshine we had on a day in London in March and reviewed them at the end of the day.

It was a very busy day, so there was no time for taking photos, but hopefully it interested the participants and got them thinking about the complex variety of issues relating to providing access to energy as part of international development.

 

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  1. EWB Sheffield Talk