Heating control panel

T4 Sustainability are an East Midlands based renewable energy and energy efficiency consultancy. They provide advice on energy consumption and efficiency and also provide MCS accredited installations of renewable energy equipment, including solar thermal system and solar PV. Recently they asked re-innovation to build a control panel for the control of a heating system for … more

Solar PV and the DataDuino

As I have detailed in a previous blog post, I have set up a DataDuino on to my off-grid solar power system. This measures the battery voltage, along with the outdoor and indoor temperatures. The voltage data will help me understand how much energy is going into and being drawn from the battery. My off-grid … more

Restoring an old axe

This is a quick post on restoring an old axe and adding an engraved handle using a laser cutter. I had picked up an old axe which had come apart from its handle and the blade had heavy nicks and was blunt. I restored the axe and added a new wedge to hold the head. … more

Getting started with the Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi has been mentioned everywhere as being the next big thing to help educate and inspire people about computers – both software and hardware. I decided to jump on this bandwagon, so got  hold of a couple of Raspberry Pi units. Here are my notes on getting things going with the Raspberry Pi.Note … more

LED stickman costume

What can you do with the RGB LED arduino shield?….Well for a start what about this LED stickman costume? This was made using an arduino with the slightly converted example code, 5m of RGB led strip, 12V battery, safety pins and the RGB LED controller. It was done for a “high-viz” themed party and might … more

Adding Sound to Projects

For a recent project, I needed to add some sounds to a product. There are many ways to do this, but I needed to play quite complex sounds and have an easy way of changing the sounds (via an .mp3 or .wav file). This led me to the “WTV020-SD” IC which is a full mp3 … more

Using LineGrinder to make PCBs

Contiuing from this post about using my CNC machine to create PCBs, here is an update on the tool chain from designing circuit board to milling them on my CNC machine. This process is still not perfect, but this is just to remind me of the settings and hopefully it might be useful to other … more

UK post sizing tool

I have needed to post a number of kits in the last couple of weeks. With the new pricing policy from Royal Mail, I needed to make sure that I was correctly paying for the mail. In the post office they have a plastic tool to check the size of packages (mainly for ‘Letter’ and ‘Large … more

RGB LED shield prototype

I’ve been working on a controller for a Red-Green-Blue LED unit from Phenoptix, a local LED and electronic kit supplier. This is basically a voltage regulator and 3 x transistor switches to control each of the colours. This plugs into an Arduino which is used to control the RGB LEDs for any effect that you … more

LED Temperature Display

I recently needed a large and visual temperature display. I managed to put this one together using some parts I had around. I ended up with this 7 segment LED display temperature with a Dallas 1-wire temperature sensor. It works pretty well and has already been useful for a batch of home brewed beer I … more


Shop now on-line

We have been developing a number of prototypes and designs here at Renewable Energy Innovation. These have been a mixture of renewable energy products and open-source kits for promoting the maker community, mainly developed in conjunction with Nottingham Hackspace. This is a short post to say that the renewable energy innovation shop is now on-line … more

Website Upgrade

Just a quick post to let you know that I have recently upgraded my website from Joomla 1.5 to Joomla 2.5. Joomla is an open-source and very powerful content management system. I have been using Joomla to manage this website for around two years. The upgrade process was required due to a security issue with … more