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Sustainability Related circuit

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by vick5821, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. vick5821

    vick5821

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    Jan 22, 2012
    Hey, any suggested special or cool circuit to do with sustainability ? Just some simple IC nd componnts will do.

    Thank you
     
  2. GreenGiant

    GreenGiant

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    Feb 9, 2012
    sustainability of what?

    can you be more specific?
     
  3. vick5821

    vick5821

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    Jan 22, 2012
    Environment :)
     
  4. Raven Luni

    Raven Luni

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    Oct 15, 2011
    A switch. When off, they can actually cut your power usage to 0 :D

    But if you want a better answer you can probably look at things like hybridising power supplies by supplimenting with solar power etc.
     
  5. vick5821

    vick5821

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    Jan 22, 2012
    But what the circuit do ?
     
  6. GreenGiant

    GreenGiant

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    Feb 9, 2012
    Interesting little fun fact, LED's (specifically green LED's) produce about 1.2-1.7 volts when they are in direct sunlight
     
  7. timothy48342

    timothy48342

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    Nov 28, 2011
    Raven, I think you nailed it right there. You meant that as a joke, but it made me think of electronic switches. Switched on timers to turn things off when your not there to flip the switch manually.

    Motion sensing switched for lights. Instead of having security lights on all night, they can turn on only when there is movement out there.

    More about lights, there are the cfl's. It takes a special circuit to power a florescent light, and a fixture for florescent lights was for a long time a very small investment that would pay for itself eventually. But now that compact florescents have been around a while and are really cheap, and last a long time and fit in the same socket as an incandescent. So, I'm saying that making that circuit small enough to work that way and cheap enough to compete with incandescents makes it a great contribution to sustainability. (It is really move of a savings in consumption that makes out lifestyle more sustainable. You still save more by just turning the lights off.) And they run cooler, too, so in climates where an air conditioner is needed, the savings is double. Less energy lost as heat, and less heat to be removed by the a/c.

    Anything having to do with hydroponics. Automatic and efficent lights on timers. Automated flow systems and temperature controls. Being able to grow something in climates where you otherwise would not be able to.

    Here's one thing. The "kill a watt". (I though I might design such a thing when I had the electronics skill, but discovered that someone already had, so I bought it instead. ~$20) You plug it into any outlet and it has an outlet and you plug a device into it and it tells you the amps or watts being consumed. (doesn't work with 220V) It has a timer and can measure cumulative kilowatt hours for devices that get turned on and off. You can enter the cost you pay per kikowatt hour and it makes the simple cost calculation. It doesn't produce anything or convert anything, but provides information. I know which appliances in my home I need to be concerned about and which ones I don't. So, it gives me knowledge for me to make my life more sustainable.

    Raven mentioned solar, but any circuit that extract energy from nature, so there's wind and hydro generators, too. Invertors for converting all that to AC to run all your AC stuff.

    The list goes on. Do your google work. Mentaly scan all the posts for key words that you can plug into a search engine and plug 'em all in and see what else you can find. (Hey is this homework??)

    -tim
    What?!? No way. Really? I want to know more. Do I need to go out and buy a bunch of green LED's? or can I verify that something happens with just any LED? If you got a link, please post it, but I'm about to go googling anyway. Thanks for that.
     
  8. GreenGiant

    GreenGiant

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    Feb 9, 2012
    I dont have a link or anything because one of my electronics teachers showed me, I haven't looked online or anything for it

    I tried to fool around with them a bit but that was a couple years ago and I didn't get anywhere with it

    on a slightly different note this is a great money saving technique that I have seen a few times
    Basically just control a chest freezer with a thermostat that turns off power below 35-40F and turns it back on above 45-50F keeps things at refrigerator temperatures but keeps it cooler longer than an upright fridge.
     
  9. Raven Luni

    Raven Luni

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    Oct 15, 2011
    Really? I remember reading that they could act as photodetectors (as can transistors or any other semiconductor if the PN junction is exposed).

    I've got a big box of assorted LEDs (so many pretty colours :D ) I rekon theres enough variety there to do gather some empirical data. If it does work, I don't imagine the current would be useable - best you could probably hope to do with it is amplify it for use as a detector.
     
  10. GreenGiant

    GreenGiant

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    Feb 9, 2012
    I think they would probably only be usable as detectors yes, though put enough of them together and you never know.
     
  11. timothy48342

    timothy48342

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    Nov 28, 2011
    I searched for "LED's produce voltage" and got an instructable entitiled "make a solar panel using diodes"

    So, yeah, I'm finding things. Weird thing about the instructable, he was talking about using diodes rather than LEDs. The idea that LEDs can convert light to electrical energy and not just electrical energy to light is new to me and amazing, but kinda make some sense, but the idea that opaque diodes would interact with light at all does not make sense at all. It seems like the opaque casing would preventy any interaction.

    Anyway... That was only the first thing I saw in a quick search, so I imagine there is a whole lot out there on the subject. Thanks for turning me on to it, GreenGiant.

    Sorry to hijack your thread, Vick. Back to sustainability!
    (And I still would like to know if this is Homework. It's ok if it is. I just want to know.)

    --tim
     
  12. Raven Luni

    Raven Luni

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    Oct 15, 2011
    Another interesting thing to read up on is photoelectrolysis (where the light energy acts as a catalyst in the ionisation process). I remember reading a while ago about a certain crystal (cant remember which one - naturally occuring lead-based something or other I think) that could use UV light to split water (or greatly reduce the electric power required to do it). It could also be doped in a certain way to make it work with visible light.

    That would be a good one for the 'free energy' nuts since hydrogen is big on their agenda and its so easy to forget that youre still using energy from an external source :p
     
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