The final video I captured at the Open Hardware Summit was this interesting talk by Mark Norton. Mark is heading up the steam engine project of the Global Village Construction Set. Open-sourcing purely mechanical projects like engines is something which I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, so this talk was really exciting to me.
The idea, in the context of the GVCS, is to use this steam engine as a prime mover for a number of other tools, including electrical generators and pumps. Because of it’s simplicity, and the fact that it can be powered by pretty much anything that makes enough heat to boil water, it’s a very useful and versatile source of power. It’s also designed to be scalable: multiple single-cylinder engines can be mated via a common crankshaft to increase power output, so as to adapt to varying requirements.
You can read more about the whole project at the steam engine intro and steam engine page of the OSE wiki. If you really want to go down the rabbit hole for this topic you can browse the steam engine category page at same.
File under “power supply” 🙂