RPM sensor for Wind Turbine

Monitoring the rotational speed of the wind turbine blades can help with power performance measurements. This post shows various techniques to measure the rotational speed of a ‘wild AC’ output small wind turbine. In this system, the wild AC is rectified into DC and either delivered to a battery or to a grid-connected inverter. The … more

DataDuino – Arduino data acquisition unit

The DataDuino data acquisition (DAQ) kit is designed to be robust and configurable but relatively simple. It is based upon the Arduino platform (using the Uno bootloader). It stores data to an SD card and uses a real time clock for accurate timestamping. The fastest resolution is 1 second sampling, up to 99999 second sampling. … more

Renewable Energy Resource Monitor

Following on from the work done for the Wind Datalogger and the Latrine Logger, we are bringing these ideas together to create a Renewable Energy Resource Monitor. This is a Arduino-based data-logger which has a range of sensors which can measure different weather resources which relate to renewable energy generators. The end result is low-cost … more

Latrine Logger Prototype

I have been working along with Nicola Greene (in conjunction with Water for People and Engineers Without Border UK) and James Fowkes (a fellow Nottingham Hackspace member) to look at the issue of data monitoring for pit latrines. A group of us had a hackday at Nottingham Hackspace to discuss the problem, look at solutions … more

Thermocouple Amplifier

This is a K-type (or J-Type) thermocouple amplifier which can be used to amplify the tiny voltage from a thermocouple to a higher voltage, readable by a microcontroller. Thermocouples can be used to measure very high temperatures, but they only output a very low voltage, hence the need for this amplifier. … more

Battery Monitoring Circuits

Accurately monitoring lead-acid battery state-of-charge would help with the long-term sustainability of off-grid renewable energy systems. There are a number of ready-built products already available, mainly for the recreational vehicle market (eg. boats) and are relatively high cost (too high to include within a small off-grid power supply system). There are also a number of … more

Modular Pedal Power Displays

We have created a range of modular power monitors, regulators and displays. The basic modular unit has been designed for pedal generators within the range of 12-35V DC and up to 20A DC, but bespoke units for different voltage and current ratings are available. … more

Voltage and Current Measurement Units

T4 Sustainability is an East Midlands based renewable energy design and installation company. Renewable Energy Innovation have worked with them a number of times on various projects. Recently they were contracted to design and install a solar PV testing rig for Coventry University. This was designed to be used to test PV modules and balance … more

Voltage divider

Accurate Voltage Measurement

I’ve been trying to accurately measure voltage for my open-source charge controller project. This project relies upon accurate measurement of voltage as this is used to control the regulator. I have been having some difficulty getting reliable and accurate voltage measurement, so I wanted to figure out why that was. I am using a simple … more

Battery Voltmeter

The battery voltmeter is a plug-in voltage monitor for 12V battery systems. This could be used in a car, caravan, on a boat or for your off-grid renewable energy system. … more

Using the DataDuino

To give an example of how easy it is to use the DataDuino, I have recently set one up on my off-grid solar power system. This measures the battery voltage and solar PV panel voltage, along with the outdoor and indoor temperatures. The voltage data will help me understand how much energy is going into … more

DataDuino – Arduino data acquisition unit

This┬ádata acuisition (DAQ) unit kit is designed to be robust and configuable but relatively simple. It is based upon the Arduino platform (using the Uno bootloader). It stores data to an SD card and uses a real time clock for accurate timestamping. The fastest resolution is 1 second sampling. Data acquisition is always useful to … more