How To: Device that stops back feeding the Grid from wind/solar

I’ve read a few Internet posts regarding people who want to self install Solar or Wind energy systems and would prefer to not power the Grid or give free electricity to their energy company. These installations may be small and not wish to invest in upgrading their meter to support back feeding the Grid.

I did a quick search and didn’t find anything simple that would do the job. Looking for a small device that can be installed in the meter box or at the entry point to a small setup, ie workshop with Solar panels and Grid* inverter then 240V equipment connected to inverter, this would allow a personal workshop to pull power from Solar when available and from GRID when not available or using larger tools.

* ALL solar setups that connects to Mains must use a specialized GRID inverter to sync the AC waveform to the GRID. So that the inverter boosts or amplifies the AC Wave. Connecting a normal Inverted to AC Mains will immediately pop the fuse or much worse.

This is where DIODES come in. A diode isn’t to convert AC to DC, while the correct design of 4 diodes will convert AC into wobbly DC, that doesn’t mean that all Diodes will do the same.

AC is a signwave that is the exact replication of a motor turning, as this is how it is generated in very large installations. The AC Wires swap every 1/50 of a second, as if someone was swapping a battery around every 1/50 of a second.

With a Diode we can direct current flow to only 1 direction. With DC, stopping a charging port from also discharging back to the charger is easy, 1 single Diode will do the job, however with AC, we need to do almost the same as the GRID Inverter, the Diodes need to swap as the AC Waveform swaps, every 1/50 of a second, at Zero Volts, the Diodes must swap to follow the current, or in our case, stop the current from flowing in a certain direction.

Below is a quick Schematic of the diodes and switches. The switch wouldn’t be a manual switch, as below, a semiconductor circuit would be used with a microcontroller to monitor the AC Waveform and swap as required.

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 1.20.28 PM

The Diodes and electronic switches need to be sized for the expected current, any microcontroller on todays market would do the processing without issue. Expected cost to be around $150 or less for those with enough parts laying around.

At some stage in the future, I intend to build the above and demonstrate for a small 200W Solar install and mini Grid inverter, the ones on ebay that plug into the power. Showing a Fridge running from Solar and when the fridge is off, no current feeding back into the grid.

grid@drobinson.com.au – David Robinson

 

How To: Auto Convert iPhone Images to BW and shrink for receipts

I’ve been taking pictures of receipts with my iPhone and needed a very simple system to convert the 1MB+ JPEG images to Greyscale and downsize to something smaller than 2448 x 3264.

The answer was a combination of ImageMagick and MacOS X Automator.

Process:

  • Make sure Xcode is installed through AppStore. (Free)
  • open a terminal, run
    xcode-select --install
  • Agree to Xcode license in Terminal: sudo xcodebuild -license
    sudo xcodebuild -license
  • http://www.macports.org/install.php and select MacPorts for your version of MacOS X.
  • Download and run the installer.
  • Back to terminal and run the below (will take a while to download all dependancies.)
    sudo port install ImageMagick
  • Now we can start to play. Open Automator (comes with Mac OS X)
  • File -> New

Follow Image below:

ConvertToBW

Add the below code:

for f in "$@"
do
/opt/local/bin/convert "$f" -colorspace Gray -resize 640 "$f"
done

Now we can drag any images onto the ConvertToBW.app and they will be converted from 1.7MB RGB to 70-100KB Greyscale and look great.

 

WORM (Write Once Read Many) Storage Satellites. Sharing knowledge to those that are dying to read it.

Idea:

WORM (Write Once Read Many) Storage Satellites. Sharing knowledge to those that are dying to read it.

Background:

Governments of the world are not all an inspiration to humanity. Some governments act like children, some like dictators, some are dictators, and some defy logic due to beliefs that should only be held as a patient in a doctors office.

So how do we bring knowledge to the world in a way that no government or citizen can stop. Showing people what is possible, what has happened in the past and what will happen in the future should the people ignore the signs around them.

Sharing data in some countries can end your life. A country that controls how data flows can control its citizens and brainwashing them into ignorance and worse, asking them to kill for the governments beliefs. This needs to change.

Issues:

There are many problems with educating the world and bringing hard earned knowledge into the hands of those who most need it. Below I will list the biggest:

  1. A to B, how to get knowledge from someone in one country to someone in another country. Especially if no fibre cables are connecting the two.
  2. Data Death, how does one share data or even show that data to many where simply having the data stored in any form can mean death.
  3. Timeliness, data can be very important and needs to get to those that need it the most quickly, any physical movement of data requires humans to download, copy and physically share it.

Secondary Issues:

  1. Data Legality, Some countries ban some data but not others, data that moves around the world can become highly sensitive, illegal and in the next country, openly shared. Corporate interests can weigh in on data, forcing laws that lock data out of hands of the public requiring licensing and fees.
  2. Storage, to store data is to open up the location to government interference. Even a distributed storage service can be taken down by multiple governments either physically or virtually through constant attacks that block the data being copied or cost the location money and time by defending the attacks until its simply not worth the risk to hold or share the data.

Proposal:

Install a network of simple data storage satellites that will be able to reach all major areas of the globe. Each satellite will have:

  1. RF Antenna to transmit in the low frequencies, providing 24/7 text only information.
  2. Laser/LiFi Transmitter for high volume data (only works at night)
  3. Flashing Xeon Light to locate satellite. Flashing once per minute.
  4. SSD storage drives.
  5. SSD Storage computer that controls the WORM interface. Highly secure with limited interface.
  6. Onboard Computer to transmission and sync data between other satellites.

Create a group that will vote on the data to be uploaded to the satellites. This group will not have anyone with Veto rights (ie UN), only a majority (51%) needs to agree to have the data uploaded and shared to all.

Policy Proposal:

The key to this system is the WORM interface. Once data has been uploaded, it cannot be removed. Attacking the group or groups that have uploaded the data will not remove it. Creating laws or killing people will not remove the data. Corporations cannot use the legal system to remove the data. Once it’s up, its available to all humanity.

For additional security, all data uploaded will be added to the satellite blockchain. If any data is modified or damaged, the blockchain won’t compute. This allows people to download the entire contents of the satellite and verify the download.

Data Transmission:

The transmission will be based on bittorrent. Each satellite will transmit important text data 24/7 via the RF antenna, allowing a small device ie mobile phone to be modified to receive the signals and assemble the data. This method will allow anyone to learn without it being obvious that the data is being listened too. Using the BitTorrent protocol, if data is missing, it can be picked up with the next pass. The protocol will be modified to not require acknowledgements or any reception from the device listening. This is a receive only system, allowing anyone to receive the data without risk that a government can monitor the transmission and locate the person receiving it.

Safety of received data:

For countries that will kill or imprison those with data, the receiver can be made with no local storage. As each satellite retransmits its data on a regular basis, there is no need to store locally the received data, allowing the device to use RAM only, persistent only while the software is running and wiped when closed or power is removed.

The Software itself can be received from the satellites, using a bootstrap piece of code to initially receive the signal.

End Game:

The idea is to make data available to all humanity, via a means that can’t be stopped, using a system that a large majority can afford either through basic technical knowledge or off the shelf hardware that looks exactly like hardware everyone else has ie smart phone.

Once world governments realize that data can’t be stopped by the traditional means, the hope is they give up, knowing that it is no longer possible contain knowledge to a few. Perfect examples are the Corporate Music Industry, doing everything in their power to stop people loading music onto their computers, without success, until giving up and using the Internet/computers to distribute songs.

If we can’t learn from the past, we are destined to repeat it. Knowledge is power, and we all need to share that power equally, the only other option is having Trust in a few with that power, however history shows that trusting those with power, doesn’t always work out in the best interests of all.

David Robinson me@drobinson.com.au

 

 

A security IOT Guard Dog.

Product idea:

Removing the need for Pets and the associated costs/time. What if a Robot Dog sat next to the bed or in the living room. Its sensors swept the room and monitored all movement and noise. The dog would keep track of where everyone went i.e. Upstairs, in the kitchen, dining room, etc. It would know how many people are in the house, and when a new person enters the house, the protocol would be to interact with the Dog, rub its head, touch it on the shoulder, perform a pattern on its back to let it know this new person is OK. The same system as a real dog, new person enters, dog barks, people in house say, sit down, its only [name].

Using the IOT the Dog can upload pictures of people entering the house and facial recognition can activate things in the house.

The primary reason for the Robot dog is security. The Dog can sit anywhere in the house and not look intrusive, unlike a security camera.

The Dog could even sit in the bedroom. Monitoring movement. Using the profile:
Bed is on Left. Door on Right. If Movement goes from BED to DOOR. OK. If Then: Movement goes from door to Bed OK. If movement starts from door Alarm.

The Robot Dog doesn’t need to move, its function is to verbally Alarm and activate IOT systems when alarming. To Mute or Calm the Dog, interaction is needed with the Dog to disarm it.

Form: Dog Ornament.
Function: Alarm Dog.

Questions:
What if someone intrudes and destroys the Dog?
The Dog would be connected to the IOT server and the workflow for the dog would be externalised. Destroying the Dog might stop the Alarm Bark, however the IOT workflow has started and will continue until shutdown, since the Dog is not destroyed, the workflow can’t be stopped by the normal means and will raise alarms with Friends, family, police as directed by the owners.

How complex would the software need to be?
Extremely simple. The dog software only needs to track moment of people. It doesn’t need to know who each person is. When a new person enters the scene, the alarm workflow starts until stopped.
Think of a house plan. The dog will learn the doors, corridors of a room by seeing people come and go. It will be able to do basic person matching by keeping track of height/shape based on the simple ultrasound sensors. The software will know when someone disappears through a door i.e. bedroom door, they will likely come back from that door. If someone enters the bedroom door and then someone enters from a wall (window) or though the front door, the software knows this is someone new and alarm script should be activated.

Can there be a pre alarm?
Dog can “Grrr” lightly when the alarm workflow has started. Letting the owners know to walk up to the Dog and disarm it through the saved disarm pattern. Since this is an IOT Dog, a smart phone app could also be used to disarm or see an image of the person dog is looking at.

Like the idea?
Let me know at IOTDog@drobinson.com.au