Session:Chaos Microgrid Working Group

Description We want to meet and discuss the requirements and possibilities of setting up a microgrid solution for future camping events.
Type Discussion
Kids session No
Keyword(s) social, hardware, software, outside, embedded, network, hacking
Tags microgrid, solar, wind, alternative power, off grid, offgrid, power, electricity
Processing village Village:Infuanfu
Person organizing User:Hadez
Language de - German, en - English
de - German, en - English
Related to Projects:Microgrid
Other sessions... ... further results

Subtitle First Meetup
Starts at 2019/08/20 16:00
Ends at 2019/08/20 18:00
Duration 120 minutes
Location Village:Infuanfu

Subtitle Second Meetup
Starts at 2019/08/21 16:00
Ends at 2019/08/21 18:00
Duration 120 minutes
Location Village:Infuanfu

Subtitle Third Meetup - Desigining a power usage survey
Starts at 2019/08/22 16:00
Ends at 2019/08/22 18:00
Duration 120 minutes
Location Village:Infuanfu

Subtitle Fourth Meetup - Complete survey site
Starts at 2019/08/23 16:00
Ends at 2019/08/23 18:00
Duration 120 minutes
Location Village:Infuanfu

Subtitle Fifth Meetup - Swap contact details, skills matrix, survey completion
Starts at 2019/08/24 16:00
Ends at 2019/08/24 18:00
Duration 120 minutes
Location Village:Infuanfu

We want to reduce our reliance on and consumption of fossil fuels for future camping events. For this we want to discuss the requirements and possibilities of setting up a shared microgrid infrastructure comprised of various kinds of generators (PV, wind, ...), storage media (battery banks, electric vehicles, chemical, potential, ...), converters (5V, 12V, 230V, ...), and interconnects (AC?, DC).


Anything missing here from what we talked? Just edit the page please :)

  • We need to standardize on a interconnect voltage (higher likly better, but below 60V)
  • Come up with a system that ideally is just a multi-wire cable with a simple, water-proof plug
  • Publish this with a call to action for the next camp (EMF next year, Netherlands year after next, CCC in four years)
  • Also build a small scale simulation setup where people can plug in their setup first and see if it's built correctly and can connect to the grid safely

Results - 2nd Meeting

  • How do we create awareness of the issue? Someone in their village offered to give someone their powerbank to charge their phone, but they said it was ok, they were just going to plug into the normal AC supply
  • Awareness - Could more displays be placed around site showing current power usage for each area/village?
  • How can we do the high-voltage interconnects? If we were willing to use AC, "off the shelf" components are already available to buy. This creates a second problem of being uni-directional - one site is producing power, the other is consuming. One way around this could be to create a 2 "token ring"s, one in one direction, and another in the other direction.
  • Voltage drops - during SHA2017 a 6V drop was seen on 6mm2 cable over 70m @42V (not good). Thicker cables could be used, but at extra cost.
  • Telemetry - How do we relay status messages around the network? WiFi already provided on site? Ethernet Over Power? RF? 3rd wire within interconnect cable? (this last solution again would increase the cost of the cables, unless a standard cable could be found with a 3rd smaller diameter wire for low speed comms.
  • How do we prioritise equipment? Eg, when voltage is below optimal, keep fridges and network equipment on, but disconnect Laptops / batteries / blinkenlights etc?
  • How do we deal with reconnecting devices when the voltage returns to normal without creating power spikes/overload conditions?
  • What current AC solutions exist for power monitoring? Examples will be added to the AltPwr site. Could EmonPi be made into a self-contained plug similar to this. Other devices are available on Adafruit (links to follow]
  • How can we be careful that people don't plug in devices to the wrong voltage sockets? PTC / Polyfuse resistors can be used in plugs to dictate voltage required
  • A third discussion will be held at the same time tomorrow to discuss creating a survey to be advertised around site, and also during the c3power talk on the last day.

Immediate Problems

  • How can we connect the 2 current separate Solar systems in the Infuanfu Village into one system?
  • What waterproof connectors should we use that can take the amps we require at the standard interconnect voltage
  • How can we make it easy for people to connect to our system without requiring technical knowledge?
  • What can we do about awareness?