We reached a new milestone today, as after numerous delays, the parts for our prototype are finally beginning to show up. We were very excited to get our hands on the first two solar panels and our solar controller (the component which limits the current to prevent the electrolyser overloading). We are still waiting for our electrolyser to arrive, and a large battery for it which will be charged-up by the solar panels. If all goes well, we should have the majority of the parts ready to put together next week.
We took one of the solar panels to the roof of the Hicks Building, which is home to the university’s solar farm. It was a cloudless mid-morning with bright sunshine – we couldn’t have hoped for a better day! The panel – which has a maximum conversion efficiency of 22.14 – performed well in the test, producing 21.9 watts of power and a current of 0.99 amps (that’s enough to power a small television!). Our technician, Simon is now working on fixing up some brackets so we can attach the solar panels to the frame he built for us earlier.
Meanwhile, we’ve also been working to produce a leaflet which will provide easily-digestible information about RoboPlant, how it works and why it’s important, and which will be handed out at public events. We’ve overcome some health and safety concerns, having learnt that it will be safe to store hydrogen in small gas bags. Mutti’s work on the solar tracker has also been progressing well.
We can’t wait to build our prototype after an anxious couple of weeks waiting for parts. Be sure to check back next week to find out how we get on.