Generator and Leaves by Peter Coyle
Recently, I’ve been looking at The Power Tree’s generator and its leaves! Generator - The generator will show how much power the tree is making and convert it into something that we can use to power other things! To show how much power is being created, I’ve included several meters that measure voltage and amps. These are two of the main ways of measuring electricity, and if you multiply them together you get watts a measurement of power (and light bulbs). This means we can use the meters to tell how powerful the power tree is! I'm going to use lots of solar panels on the power tree so I’m including a clever little circuit called a “buck/boost convertor”. The buck/boost convertor will take all the power coming from the solar panels and create a consistent output. Exactly what I need to power things! To show the power tree working I’m including a small fan that will come on when the power tree is in the sun! Leaves - I'm using 3D printing to create the solar panel leaves. Each leaf will be joined to the tree by a stiff wire that runs down each branch. This means each branch and solar panel can be repositioned to best catch the sun. This type of metal wire structure is often used by animators for their models so they can create stop motion animation - they call them armatures. The leaves themselves will be printed at Octo Design (where I work). We have a 3D printer, that we use for prototyping our designs before they are manufactured. Our printer creates 3D models by melting a liquid with a laser! It creates the model in slices, one on top of the other. Once the print is complete, it needs treating with heat and UV light before it can be used. I created several designs for the leaves on the computer, before printing a prototype of my favourite. I was happy with the results, so I’m now printing all the leaves I need for the power tree. Once these are printed, I should have all the parts I need to make the power tree!!