DC current measurement

A number of the projects we are involved with require accurate monitoring of DC currents. Here we explain the numerous techniques for measuring DC current flowing in a line, highlight some of the multitude of integrated circuits available and list the pros and cons of various techniques. This is an on-going work – please post … more

Making Printed Circuit Boards

Recently I produced a workshop on making your own printed circuit board for a Hack Space in Nottingham I am involved with. A Hack Space is an open workshop where people can use collective tools and share ideas, knowledge and work on group projects. As I had written the presentation, I thought it would make … more

Pedal-powered blender

A pedal powered blender for making smoothies at festivals and events had always seemed like a great idea. It brings in a number of concepts: firstly there is the ‘we don’t need electricity for everything’ idea, secondly it helps to demonstrate the concept of power in a interesting and practical way, thirdly it helps to … more

Invoice maker

In response to the problem of having a number of different jobs, I needed to keep track of the hours worked for the different companies. I also wanted to create invoices to send to those companies. I couldn’t find what I was wanted and certainly not without paying some money so I decided to write … more

Home-built solar thermal panel

This page describes the construction of a solar thermal collector. This integrates into a hot water system and ought to help reduce the boiler requirements through the summer months. This has been built mainly using scrap and recycled components. … more

Solar cooker ideas

In response to a friends challenge to make a solar cooker and prove it would work in the UK, the solar cooker shown below was built. Only scrap materials have been used, mainly based upon a piece of plastic mirror found in a skip … more

No Weld Pedal Generator

DIY ‘No-welding’ pedal-powered generator plans

Here are full constructional plans for a do-it-yourself pedal generator, including the bicycle stand. This is designed so that there is no welding involved (as I do not have welding equipment). I have built two of these stands and they have proven to be quite reliable and robust. … more

Electrical system design guide

This was a practical guide produced while working for SIBAT, an NGO working in the Philippines, on a 1kW wind turbine off-grid system for remote community electrification. This work was part of a one-year placement in the Philippines funded by Engineers Without Borders UK. … more

Solar and pedal gadgets

Using scrap and bits from broken things I have built a number of gadgets. Not all of them have a purpose apart from hopefully demonstrating forms of renewable energy and providing something to look at. This is a collection of photos and notes and ideas on things to build and what they could be built … more

Dishwashers vs hand washing

This paper presents an analysis of the energy and water requirements of an electrical dishwasher in Nottingham to that of hand-washing the same load. The experiment was carried out on January 5th 2010 under strict laboratory test conditions within a clean room environment. … more

Fibreglass wind turbine blades

This was a practical guide produced while for SIBAT, an NGO working in the Philippines, on the construction of fibre-glass wind turbine blades for a 1kW wind turbine. This work was part of a one-year placement in the Philippines funded by Engineers Without Borders UK. … more