Fun with Neo-Pixels

We needed to hightlight some locations on a very large map (3m x 4m!). These locations needed to be lit up as a pedal powered race between two people and needed to display which person had lit them up first. We developed some LED ‘pixels’ based on 24 LED Neo-pixel rings. These lit up in … more

New website!

After 6 years of a self-designed website that was starting to look and feel very clunky, we have now had our website fully re-vamped. It is looking great and is so much more responsive than the previous site. Whoop! This site is also mobile-friendly so should work on all devices and be a bit more … more

Portable PV Power – 800WP System

We were asked, by a good friend from Wild Stoves, to produce a portable solar PV off-grid power supply system. Wild stoves supply equipment for efficient outdoor cooking on wood. They run workshops on efficient burning of wood and sell equipment at a number of festivals over the summer. We had been asked to add … more

8-Bike Pedal Powered Scalextric

Every so often a project comes along that would have been the envy of my childhood self. This was one of those projects –  I was asked to build a 8 lane pedal powered Scalextric. This meant putting together Scalextric track designs and testing Scalextric cars. I was really pleased with the end result, which … more

Derby Silk Mill – Maker in Residence

From November 2014 until May 2015, I have been one of four “Makers in Residence” at Derby Silk Mill, in the UK. This has been a slight change of activity for me, as I usually focus on renewable energy systems, but has been a great opportunity to encourage Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM). … more

Wind Empowerment Development Week

A few weeks ago I headed down to rural France, near Toulouse to take part in a week-long Development Camp working on wind turbine measurement for the group Wind Empowerment. About 10 people came from all parts of Europe, along with people joining via Skype from all parts of the world. We discussed ideas and … more

Battery Monitor Units

We have recently been working with Product Health to develop some hardware for monitoring battery banks in off-grid systems. Product Health are working on remote monitoring of systems to ensure they are working and pre-empt any maintenance or repair which might be required. The product specification was to build a low-cost, reprogrammable and accurate unit … more

Datalogger Overview

We have been working with Wind Empowerment to specify the features of an open-source data logger unit for members of Wind Empowerment to use with grid-connected and stand-alone small wind turbine installations. After discussion at a week long hack camp in Toulouse, France the following data logger system overview was suggested. We are working, along … more

Modular Lampshade Project

I was wanting to make an interesting lampshade as a specal Christmas present this year. I set about searching Instructables for inspiration. I found a really interesting modular lampshade concept, which was originally designed by Holger Strøm in 1972 and called the IQlight. This used a repeated unit which was cut out of polypropylene using … more

Wind Empowerment Conference 2014

For the past week I have been at the 2nd Wind Empowerment conference in Athens. Wind Empowerment is a network of groups working on Small Wind Turbines, with a particular focus on the Hugh Piggott designed wind turbine. The conference was an inspiring mix of interesting presentations, hands-on workshops and social fun. Around 45 people … more

Design manufacturing at Nottingham University

I was asked to propose a few ideas for group projects on the product design and manufacturing engineering course at Nottingham University. I proposed a few projects and two of them were taken on by small groups. These projects have been designed and built over the course of a year and I went to see … more