An introduction

Hello and welcome to our information site. We have designed and built an alternative power network for the big Dutch hacker event SHA2017 last summer!

We have asked you to use alternative power at SHA2017, it was a FREE add-on! Some people did, thanks for that, we had a great opportunity to test how the grid behaves in a real life environment. 🙂

Now we all have rested a bit, it’s time for an update. Sorry for the delays, but we are not a company, just a very small number of people who do this as part of their hobby. Delays / slow updates are better than standing completely still. The techblog will have some info on how it all worked out on SHA, some improvements and some new stuff we are building.

=== Check out the techblog! Here we will put some info on how to build DC power systems too. ===

You can still join the mailinglist or our IRC channel.

The idea of building a DC power grid to experiment with came to us at CCCamp 2015. We asked around and many people of the community would like to have an opportunity to share their surplus of solar / wind or other eco-friendly power during hacker events. Some people like the idea they can use “green” power on events, even if they have to modify some systems for it or adapt to using less power. Others are interested to study the dynamics of a DC system or would like to figure out how to send data over a DC grid. We would like to satisfy all of those people by building a transparent DC grid.

DC grids will become more and more popular in the future for power companies and distributors. High Voltage DC power is cheaper to transport over long distances as losses are reduced dramatically. Also connecting grids is much easier. The grid we are building uses extra low voltage DC (PELV), which is good enough for small distances. And it makes it easier to build a system that everybody can play with safely.

Let’s be clear about one thing. The production of the parts for the grid alone generates more CO2 that we can save during a short event like this. So it’s not going to be a planet saver immediately, but we can reuse the system or build a permanent setup somewhere, so it might pay off some day. It’s more about triggering people to think about their power consumption or how to generate and share cleaner power.

All of the specifications, hardware and software will be made available on this website in time.

Check the menu on top of this page for more information about the grid and how to use it.

Due to: some personal setbacks / too little time left / not many people joining yet, altpwr is tuning down to a smaller version of the original plan. There will be at least 50 4A connections and 8 16A connections available, but you MUST register one or you have nothing… Please do this ASAP!

If the number of  people joining is higher than the number of connections, we will do anything we can to build more nodes! We will even bring spare materials so you can help build a node.

The alternative power network is made possible by:

Revspace and its participants, thank you for the power units, many other parts and workspace.

Frack and its participants, thank you for the cabinets!

Yotson, thank you for getting the cabinets to the workspace!

Chris and Kathryn, thank you for your generous donation! It will be used to build safety devices for the grid nodes.

Gori, Sebastius, Boekenwuurm and HSBXL thanks for donating some solar panels!

Many others, thank you for the parts, ideas, donations and heads up!

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