On Saturday, I was pleased to be a part of the Science Centre’s Ignite Expo:
Regina Games Forge – A local group of tabletop game designers who meet and host playtests regularly. They will have several prototypes of various tabletop games from local designers available to play and demo throughout the day.
Regina Scale Modelers – Creating intricate scale models of agricultural machinery
SLUG – Saskatchewan Lego Users Group are bringing various Lego creations and some brick-art by Tim Brix.
Queen City Cosplayers – showcasing their costumes as well as some home made accessories and props.
John Klein – Demonstrating his home solar panel array, and how to set one up.
Crashbang labs – Various projects built by lab members. Mostly electronic, laser cut and 3d printed parts.
Regina Rolling Robot Tours –Ride a Segway and learn more about balance and these cool rides.
Mighty Chameleon Brothers – A new, locally-created indie video game. It has been fashioned after classic arcade games of the 80’s & 90’s. Play a demo of the game with an authentic arcade joystick!
Miller High School – Students will be bringing along some of their STEM projects.
Rick Martens – 3D Printed props and a video presentation about Maker Spaces.
Talking Dog Studios – The Grid Virtual Reality Arcade game with a headset so visitors can play this new game
ZMZ Smithing – Live blacksmithing with a coal forge. Zach will show off his traditional smithing skills and make small pieces live in front of you!
In honour of the solar eclipse on Monday, SaskPower shared what it’s been saying about solar power for many years. The problem with reusing years-old information about technology, is that sometimes you get things wrong due to advances in the technology. There should not be so many factual errors in SaskPower’s communications with the public. It’s a sore point for me, because it’s so critical that people understand the capabilities (and true limitations) of renewable energy technologies. Only by changing how we power our electrical grid and daily lives, can we quickly leave fossil fuels in the past to reduce damaging climate changes, and health problems from emissions.
I’m one of those 400 #solar energy providers to the SaskPower grid. It’s known as Net Metering, because the net electricity used, at the end of a year is billed to me, but any generated above equality is kept in SaskPower’s favour.
Photons, not IR/heat is collected from light, & is converted into electrons (electricity). Heat causes additional resistance / lower output. Telling people otherwise could convince them that seasonally cold Regina isn’t a great place for solar, when it’s actually a top location in the world!
As you can see from my examples, SaskPower has some explaining to do, about the [mis]information they’re sharing on their Twitter feed. I worry what else they’re telling people, that’s as inaccurate.
ADDED: Sent this to SaskPower. I’ll let you know what they do to correct the record.
“SaskPower shared some inaccurate information on its series of tweets during the solar eclipse. Will SaskPower correct the record, and tweet correct information about solar power from this point forward?
Please let me know when SaskPower issues corrections, and I’ll update my article.
“Thank you, your inquiry has been submitted.
A SaskPower representative will respond to your inquiry shortly.”
UPDATE: They replied yesterday:
Thank you for your email. Solar is an important part of a cleaner energy
future for Saskatchewan. We want customers to understand our plans for
solar, and as you note in your blog, the limitations of the technology, as
well. To ensure reliability for customers, intermittent generation sources
like wind and solar require back up baseload power that’s available 24/7.
We also aim to balance a mix of sources that offer reliability,
cost-effectiveness and environmental sustainability. We are keenly paying
attention to the development of utility-scale battery storage technology as
you mention and will look forward to testing it once the technology
continues to evolve.
Okay, but what about correcting the mistakes in the information you shared with the public? e.g. equating heat with electricity production in PV cells. That’s not how it works.
Why are you not testing battery storage technology now?
You may not care about this stuff, unless you have an electric bike. If so, read on…
For those curious, and without a Kill-A-Watt meter, the standard Sondors THIN battery (and Original which I also have), on the standard 2 Amp charger, starts out charging at about 1.45 Amps, 88W, when there’s only about 34V left. When it has charged for 2:50, it’s dropped to .33 Amps, 21 W, and 220 Watt.hours have been put into the battery.
10 minutes later it’s .28 Amps, and 18 W, with no detectable increase in the 220Wh delivered. This is what I’d expect, knowing a little about how lithium-ion EV batteries charge. Some vehicles suggest charging to 80%, and not to 100% to extend the life of the battery (if overheating is avoided). It’s not really possible to do this with a Sondors charger, without a Kill-A-Watt meter to tell you when it’s almost full.
For those less familiar with electrical figures, that means that the battery could run for about 220 Watts (plus what it had remaining before charging), for a full hour. Those with the LCD which can display Watts currently being used, will notice that Pedal ASsist 1 gives about 80W of thrust. I’ve heard that a fit cyclist can generate 150W of power by pedaling a bicycle.