Like coffee but your liberal guilt won’t let you enjoy it if the energy to heat the water might have come from natural gas or nuclear energy?
There may be hope for the future. Researchers at Lancaster University have used a Raspberry Pi to determine the optimum time for a cup of tea in terms of impact on the environment – it only allows a kettle to boil when the University’s wind turbine is producing electricity. Windy Brew is the brainchild of Dr. Will Simm, Dr. Peter Newman, Dr. Maria Angela Ferrario and Dr. Stephen Forshaw.
It envisions a future where man does not reshape nature, but where we are hostage to it.
“Windy Brew has been inspired by a possible vision of the future where we can’t just use energy whenever and wherever we like, but have to synchronize our consumption to the availability of renewable energy sources rather than burning fossil fuels,” explains Simm. “We thought about the tasks that we do here in the office and we do like our brews. What if were able to sync the times we make our brew with our renewable energy sources? Would it allow us to develop a sensitivity for renewable energy, which is not always available?”
The University’s Information Systems Services unit provided a live feed of data from the turbine direct to the research team giving a second by second report of energy outputs. When the University turbine is generating power, the Raspberry Pi activates the radio controlled plug socket which, in turn, switches on the kettle and sends a tweet when it boils – the perfect ‘green’ brew, unless you count the materials for the Pi, the kettle, the wind vanes, the cups, the radio controlled plug socket, and shipping the tea from 8,000 miles away.
“This equipment, unlike others, is not about sourcing a cost effective energy supply,” said Dr Peter Newman. “It’s not about reducing energy consumption but it is about using energy more intelligently when it is more renewable. Reduced costs are a bi-product benefit.”
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.