Ok so haven't bloged in a while but expect to get a few more in shorter spans. But firstly the important news sampled the christmas ale tonight and it is coming along nicely.


I've been plodding along with a few ideas and like the others coming to conclusions that I just can siphon off enough power for some of them I think I need to get a hold of a thermal camera so I can get some more ideas of things that give off wasted heat around the place.


So for the brew project I have come up with the following trial this week for a pumpkin ale.


  • Remove the peltier plate from the board like the others have so I don't have to stress about spilling wort all over the device.
  • Have a pre programmed in timer to let me know when to do each stage.
  • Connect temperature probe to read the brew temperature and use the onboard to get the ambient room.


The different stages will be as followed for this Batch.


  1. Get water to 62degrees. Manually turn off element(for now).
  2. After mash is started press button 1 this will set off the 60minute count down measuring mash temp at 1minute intervals.
  3. Person to left out grain and manually turn on element.
  4. Once boil reached press button again(the sugars will have changed the boil temp so won't be sure of exact temp but would like to measure.
  5. At the hops interval times send signal to add hops. Have unit measure temp before and after additions.
  6. Cooling begins. Measure the temperature of the wort as it cools to see how quickly it happens.



After this I will attach the set up to the barrel which now has a turbine on the airlock to try and use the inductive charging to power the next stage. Will also put the peltier on the side to measure how much I could get off the side of the barrel. There is also a temperature probe in the barrel to measure how hot it is in there. If anyone has a good idea to measure specific gravity cheaply both in cost and power I would be keen to throw ideas around at moment thing a hydrometer attached to a strain gauge.





Now onto the side project the garden wall. Wandering through the hardware store I found a nice garden moisture sensor and also a spray nozzle that ran off 2xAA batteries so I picked them up and got them home to pull apart. The plan is to use the Solar panel to power the system an as needed top up the plant water from the reservoir container. Hopefully I will also get some heat exchange for the teg using the reservoir as a cooling block as well.


The sensor gives has an RGB led to let you the different levels of moisture at a button press. So I of course soldered on my own button which will be connected to a digital output pin later and some wires on the battery terminal and connected it up to the energy profiler to see how much power it would take. Also really liking the upgraded energy profiler that gives you nice little calculations box on the side.




Calculations done on the system for how much power a reading took. I like the led light up so would like to keep it on there.


2 button pressContinuous press
Avg Current566.16uA442.68



figure one 2 button presses



figure button pressed and held down


I then found out that the sensor could be left on if I held down the button for a while so did a longer time period of 180s


     Sensor on for 180s


Each of the spikes is the led blinking. So if I was lazy and just had the sensor on all the time it would consume on average 443.27uA constantly while during the day I think I could get a way with it. It is both unnecessary and wasteful to do so.


Motor test unfortunately will have to wait as the poor board could not supply enough current to start the motor in the spray bottle. Hopefully when it is sunny again I will run some tests and get the solar power porch hydro setup going.