Fridge0 is a design for an offgrid, solar powered fridge, with no battery bank. Using an inexpensive chest freezer with a few modifications, the fridge retains cold overnight and through rainy periods.
Fridge0 consists of a standard chest freezer, an added thermal mass, an inverter, and computer control. It ties into the typical offfgrid system of a solar charge controller, battery bank, and photovoltaic panels to maintain a safe temperature range.
The battery bank is a large part of the cost of a typical offgrid fridge installation. It needs to be sized to run the fridge overnight, as well as for several days of poor weather. Cheaper batteries only last 3-5 years, and longer lasting batteries are correspondingly expensive; either way a battery bank for an offgrid fridge is extremely expensive over the lifetime of the friddge.
By storing solar power in the form of cold, fridge0 avoids the battery bank expense and environmental footprint. The only battery power fridge0 needs is enough to turn it off cleanly when the solar panels stop producing -- a few minutes of power instead of days -- and a small amount for its computer control.
There are offgrid fridges produced by several manufacturers, which are designed for 12v solar power, but these still may need a battery bank, and are much more expensive than conventional equipment due to being very well insulated using features like vacuum bottles. These offgrid fridges were designed when solar panels were much more expensive than they are today.
With modern cheap and efficient solar panels, commercial offgrid fridges make less sense than they used to. A kilowatt of solar panels provides enough power to run a conventional fridge on even most cloudy days, and costs less than a commercial offgrid fridge.
2018/09/14: If you want to fight climate change, you want Open Hardware
While these ‘‘dominant designs’’ have made clean energy more competitive with fossil fuels in the near term, they pose a significant risk in the long term: ‘‘technological lock-in.’’ Technological lock-in has been documented across a range of industries in the past—especially in legacy sectors with entrenched incumbent firms and regulatory inertia. Once it sets in, new technologies struggle to achieve commercial traction even if they are superior to existing ones. The warning signs of lock-in are clear across all three fields. Private industry is devoting virtually no investment to the development of next-generation technologies, while making massive bets on the rapid deployment and incremental improvement of existing technologies.
If new solar, wind, and storage technologies are ‘‘locked out,’’ global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could fall well short of those needed to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.
In the same way open source has spawned millions of careers and thousands of companies, imagine the opportunity with openness applied to products. It could potentially jumpstart a revolution in how we conceptualize, build, and share things and how we experiment and innovate to push the boundaries of science and technology.
We need to insist on free designs when we fabricate objects ourselves.
This page is a brief review of online platforms that allow people to share hardware designs. Our interest lies primarily in platforms that help establish a hardware design commons, while there are also platforms that encourage people to sell there designs instead of sharing them.
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Not Impossible Labs: Home page
In this recap, we look back at some of the biggest events in the open hardware community in 2014, including some highlights of the work of makers in 3D printing, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and more.
Next week, the Internet of Things will be a major focus for executives in the telecoms, media and technology industry at the 14th Broadband World Forum. There's no doubt the Internet of Things is picking up pace. According to Juniper Research, smart home revenues will reach a global market value of $71 billion by 2018. And, with Google paying 1941631.9 billion for smart thermostat provider Nest Labs, we could see an influx of new devices for the connected home market much sooner than we thought. Currently, though, some existing smart products simply provide a stand-alone solution and are often seen as gimmicks. >See also: The Internet of Things business process revolution The question is: how can smart homes become more than a clever gimmick, and the connections between our houses and devices truly become part of our everyday lives? Some vendors and analysts would answer interoperability. Only when smart-home products are combined and seamlessly integrated with
The word innovation is often associated with banks of computers, not the back paddock. But Australia's agricultural sector is actually a world leader when it comes to research and development. Calls are