Shown above is a virtual “Turbine Tree” built as part of the onSupply project. It uses historical data and live output data from the Lancaster University Wind turbine to dynamically show the availability of low carbon energy on campus through the colour of its lights. The tree replays the turbine output for the previous 24 hours before showing live data:
If the lights are green then the turbine is at full whack, ~2.5MW output.
If the lights are red then the turbine has low output.
If the lights are blue then the turbine is not sending data; likely it is down for maintenance.
The tree can also be seen in the iLancaster mobile app for staff and students – head to your app store to download or use online at iLancaster.lancs.ac.uk. Tree data is supplied by ISS.
Merry Christmas from all of us in the Catalyst team 🙂
It seems very fitting that the very first blog post on this website should mention the first prototype iteration of the various technologies we may/may not/will use for the onSupply project.
During a previous Tiree TechWave (TTW), Rory Gianni created a simple website that monitors the current wind speed on Tiree and uses this to estimate the energy generated by the island’s wind turbine (Tilley). Although not a perfect estimation, it does give an indication of Tilley’s output.
Today, we have just hacked together a quick gadget using a Raspberry Pi, a 2 colour LED, and a web-scraping of Rory’s website. Using this LED and the Kilowatt value read from Rory’s site, the Raspberry Pi is able to visualise the (estimated) percent of the island’s power produced by Tilley. As the percentage of power generated by Tilley approaches 100%, the LED colour shifts from Red to Green, symbolising the shift from non-renewable to renewable energy being used by the island.
As Tilley is a 950Kw wind turbine, and as the energy requirement of the island is approximately the same, it is fairly trivial to provide an extremely rough estimate of Tilley’s contribution to the energy requirements of the island.
The aim of this small project isn’t necessarily on the roadmap for the final prototype output by the onSupply project, but instead was meant to give us opportunity to play around with different ways in which we can convey the energy make up supplied by the grid to the island. In fact, it is our hope that rather than being the basis of our digital contribution to the onSupply project, we hope that this can form the basis of a digital Christmas present to the island of Tiree (once it has grown up of course!)