Author Topic: Help out an engineering student  (Read 1628 times)

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Offline CrtSuznik

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Help out an engineering student
« on: January 17, 2019, 06:40:32 pm »
Hey gang, my name is Crt Suznik. I am currently studying electrical engineering in Slovenia.

I love science and frequently make electronics projects. The ones that require a lot of research and I feel will benefit people, I share on Instructables.

You can see some of my work here:

https://www.instructables.com/member/CrtSuznik/instructables/

I usually buy test equipment and tools on Aliexpress or even make my own when ever possible. With my knowledge base constantly expanding, I have found that my newer projects could benefit not only the electronics community, but quite possibly the world.

I am working on power saving and power producing devices, which have life saving potential in parts of the world where power is an issue. My systems could even be used to power food production plants for a small fraction of the cost and thus potentially eliminate world hunger.

While I cannot guarantee all of my projects will succeed, would gladly share my work and help others.

Here is where you come in!

Advanced projects require more advanced tools, but sadly the tool I need cannot be made at home.

This is why I want to buy it. It's called an oscilloscope.  :-DMM I want to buy this one to be specific:
https://www.batronix.com/shop/oscilloscopes/Rigol-DS1054Z.html?fbclid=IwAR10kYog-NRreCmR4ST2ytcZtKFbHAZYA2rm6lOQ6S83Q_hnuQEwr9Vks94#yoReviews

Most of you probably know what it is, but just in case, I'll explain. In layman's terms, an oscilloscope is a device that lets you see electrical signals. Having one would allow me to properly test every part of my projects so I can document them in great detail. In some cases having an oscilloscope is even crucial to successfully completing a project, because you need to see what circuits are doing. An oscilloscope helps and is an essential part of every electronics lab.

 
Any donation, however small will be greatly appreciated and while I cannot promise that my work will in any way impact the world, I can promise you that I will do my best to make it a better place for you and me.

If you would like to contribute to my cause, you may do so by following this link https://fundrazr.com/91RqO8?ref=ab_07p8Oe

Of course you're welcome to share the link with your friends and family. Thank each and every one of you.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 07:17:39 pm by CrtSuznik »
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Help out an engineer
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2019, 06:43:18 pm »
I am working on power saving and power producing devices, which have life saving potential in parts of the world where power is an issue. My systems could even be used to power food production plants for a small fraction of the cost and thus potentially eliminate world hunger.

I'm curious about your design. And I believe many here are equally interested in it.

In layman's terms, an oscilloscope is a device that lets you see electrical signals. Having one would allow me to properly test every part of my projects so I can document them in great detail. In some cases having an oscilloscope is even crucial to successfully completing a project, because you need to see what circuits are doing. An oscilloscope helps and is an essential part of every electronics lab.

Thank you for your explanation.
 
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Offline CrtSuznik

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Re: Help out an engineering student
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2019, 09:46:01 pm »
Well, I figured solar cells/panels were quite a bad technology. A great idea, but the efficiency is around 15%, which isn't all that much, considering we get around 1kW per square meter when it's sunny. (and even that's a minimal ballpark value)

I am therefore working on a turbine, similar to a Sterling engine that would be more efficient than a solar panel. (almost by default), but I haven't really got the exact design down yet, just a general idea. I've done some calculations, but nothing worth publishing. I still need to test some chemical compounds (and even make some from scratch), test motor/generator efficiencies and so on.

As for the world hunger thing, I'm working on a circuit (without giving too much away just yet) that would enable LEDs to function with the fraction of the power. This isn't just an idea, I've already made a prototype and am using a couple of different versions around the house. However, every so often something blows, so I'm still working out the kinks. Simulating stuff really helps, but in the end, you just have to get your hands dirty and make the actual circuit.
I would also like to test how my circuit affects aka distorts the sine waveform of a regular AC socket, since you'd probably want to power it from AC. An oscilloscope would be of great use in this case, since I am currently just using a multimeter and a cheap DSO138, which is more of a toy than an oscilloscope.

I have a couple of other ideas, but these two are the ones I'm currently focusing on.
If there are any more questions, feel free to ask and of course...share and contribute, even if it's a single dollar, it helps!

Once again, thank you all.
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Help out an engineering student
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2019, 09:59:10 pm »
15% is shit panel. Top quality commercial use panels are already at 22% efficiency, and military/aerospace ones are at 30%.
What you described is called concentrated solar power, which uses concentrated solar power to heat water or to breakdown water molecules to generate electricity.
Also, there are concentrated PV, which directly shines concentrated solar power to a high power PV cell, with up to 40% efficiency.

Do your homework first, before asking for money.
 
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Offline m98

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Re: Help out an engineering student
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2019, 10:31:56 pm »
Slovenia isn't a particularly poor country, why don't you just save up for the scope? And why don't you just ask a professor if you could borrow one, or get access to an electronics lab? But please drop the "saving the world"-stuff, it really makes you look dishonest. You can still claim to save the world after you've developed and demonstrated your technology.
 

Offline CrtSuznik

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Re: Help out an engineering student
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2019, 11:21:00 pm »
To be fair, I never did claim saving the world was a sure thing. I don't want to seem dishonest, but I still believe that the stuff I'm working on now or even my future projects MIGHT benefit at least those around me if not the whole world. My point was that I want to help. I realize Slovenia might not be a poor country, but 500eur still is a lot of money for most people here or at least for me. So if anyone can and is willing to help me out, I will be very grateful, even if I don't reach the goal price.

Also, as for the solar pane efficiency, there is a theoretical limit that can be reached and I believe it's around 20%. Going higher is possible, but that raises the cost to NASA levels and isn't really worth the money for common folk.
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Help out an engineering student
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2019, 11:35:12 pm »
Also, as for the solar pane efficiency, there is a theoretical limit that can be reached and I believe it's around 20%. Going higher is possible, but that raises the cost to NASA levels and isn't really worth the money for common folk.

Bullshit. State of the art commercial panels are 22.4%, made by Sunpower. Those are very easily available at very reasonable price.
CPV at 35% efficiency with stacked multi-junction wide band gap PV cell is also commodity technology. With lattice matching, 40% is achieved by Boeing subsidiary, Spectrolab.
 
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Offline CrtSuznik

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Re: Help out an engineering student
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2019, 12:07:25 am »
Bullshit. State of the art commercial panels are 22.4%, made by Sunpower. Those are very easily available at very reasonable price.
CPV at 35% efficiency with stacked multi-junction wide band gap PV cell is also commodity technology. With lattice matching, 40% is achieved by Boeing subsidiary, Spectrolab.

My bad, it's 22.4%, not around 20% as I stated. Thank you for the correction and follow up. But I digress, I believe we've gotten a bit off track here, since I am not working on PV panels. What I'm trying to make doesn't even require solar power, since it converts heat (that could be solar) into electricity (indirectly).

Also blueskull, it would seem that you make quite a lot of money since the prices of state of the art panels seem as you say "very reasonable". Well, of course I will admit that I could be wrong, perhaps you are as poor as I am. From my point of view even the Aliexpress panels seem costly. Maybe consider donating a bit of that well earned money to my cause. I would very much appreciate your kindness.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2019, 12:09:06 am by CrtSuznik »
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Help out an engineering student
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2019, 12:45:33 am »
My bad, it's 22.4%, not around 20% as I stated. Thank you for the correction and follow up. But I digress, I believe we've gotten a bit off track here, since I am not working on PV panels. What I'm trying to make doesn't even require solar power, since it converts heat (that could be solar) into electricity (indirectly).

As I said earlier, there's the technology you've mentioned before exactly, it's called CSP, or concentrated solar power.
It's nothing new, and it's widely used in large scale energy generation.
Just the maintenance makes it infeasible for household application doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
There are a lot of things happening under the hood of companies and governments that laymen don't know.

If you can get your CSP readily available, then yes, it can rival PV in household applications.

I have to remind you that no matter what engine you make, it can't exceed Carnot efficiency.
With commonly available materials, you won't get high side temperature anywhere above 600C, that gives you Th=873K.
Similarly, with feasible cooling, 100C at low end is reasonable, so Tl=373K.
An ideal Carnot machine will you give you 57% efficiency, let along you won't get anywhere ideal.
Motors have loss, turbines have loss, transmission gears have loss. Overall, you will be glad if you get 45% efficiency.

With all the efforts, you only get 10% higher efficiency than commercially available CPV systems, and they are only expensive due to less demand.
If you find a way to make solar concentrators cheaply available for your CSP, maintenance free, I bet the big players will clone your design and use that in their CPV systems.
So you will be off competing with CPV of same reliable technology, and their product has much fewer moving parts and maintenance cost.
Furthermore, CPV is just semiconductor. With volume, price goes very low. Your machinery will get harder and herder to compete with modern semiconductor in terms of cost and product uniformity.


So overall, just let the big players mess with CSP. I won't even touch CPV at lower quantity.
There is a reason why most household users go with standard PV, and I bet you will find a really hard time challenging that.

Also blueskull, it would seem that you make quite a lot of money since the prices of state of the art panels seem as you say "very reasonable". Well, of course I will admit that I could be wrong, perhaps you are as poor as I am. From my point of view even the Aliexpress panels seem costly. Maybe consider donating a bit of that well earned money to my cause. I would very much appreciate your kindness.

$1.4 per watt is not expensive. At 6 hour insolation at 1kW/m2, those panels generate 0.00427 kWh per day per $ of panel.
With a typical $10k installation ($5k on panels, $5k on equipment and labor), that's 21 kWh per day, should be plenty enough for a small house with good thermal insulation and uses solar water heater.
 

Offline m98

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Re: Help out an engineering student
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2019, 12:57:43 am »
My bad, it's 22.4%, not around 20% as I stated. Thank you for the correction and follow up. But I digress, I believe we've gotten a bit off track here, since I am not working on PV panels. What I'm trying to make doesn't even require solar power, since it converts heat (that could be solar) into electricity (indirectly).
But how would a scope help you with such a project in the realm of physics, material science and mechanical engineering? And why don't you just try to convince a professor of your project, so that you could do it using university resources?

Also blueskull, it would seem that you make quite a lot of money since the prices of state of the art panels seem as you say "very reasonable". Well, of course I will admit that I could be wrong, perhaps you are as poor as I am. From my point of view even the Aliexpress panels seem costly. Maybe consider donating a bit of that well earned money to my cause. I would very much appreciate your kindness.
If you don't have the money for the state-of-the-art panels, you won't need them anyways, as they're only really necessary to optimize the power output of a bigger installation on a limited area. It's not like that increase in efficiency will be a crucial feature for a home solar installation. And even modern solar farms sometimes still use polycrystalline panels, because they're cheap and optimizing land use isn't really an issue. That's also one of the reasons why CSP hasn't really caught on anywhere.
I had times when I was probably poorer than you are right now, but that didn't keep me from saving up for stuff I'd like to buy. And to be real, €400 isn't that much, and can be easily earned by doing regular student jobs in a month. Or get a student internship at an international corporation for a semester, that will earn you more money than the regular student jobs and put you a step ahead of the others on the job market after graduating.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: Help out an engineering student
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2019, 01:11:34 am »
As for the world hunger thing, I'm working on a circuit (without giving too much away just yet) that would enable LEDs to function with the fraction of the power.

Unfortunately, LEDs consume the power they consume. They have a certain efficiency, and based on that, for a given light output the required electrical power consumption is fully defined and unalterable. The only possible way to reduce the power consumption would be to increase the efficiency, and to do that you would have to invent a new kind of LED.

Quote
I have a couple of other ideas, but these two are the ones I'm currently focusing on.

Your enthusiasm is admirable, but you need to recognize that many smarter people than you have been alive before you and will have thought about the same things you have thought about. You can be 99% sure that any idea you have is not original. Someone else has already considered it. If you don't see it in production yet it means it was not practical or economically viable.

My recommendation to you is to focus on your own education, learning, and professional development. Use your thinking and experiments to improve yourself and then contribute to the world when you can. Progress does not come by sudden revelation, it comes by years of research, experiment and hard work involving many people.
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline Gregg

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Re: Help out an engineering student
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2019, 02:56:10 am »
>>CrtSuznik>>>
Maybe you should try for a job in MARKETING as you seem to have a talent toward selling and use your spare time and money toward your altruistic endeavors.  Who knows? Maybe you’ll hit it big someday; time and effort spent groveling for funding on internet forums could probably provide better long term gain if applied to your goals and dreams in a realistic manner.
Quote
I am working on power saving and power producing devices, which have life saving potential in parts of the world where power is an issue. My systems could even be used to power food production plants for a small fraction of the cost and thus potentially eliminate world hunger.
Quote
I have a couple of other ideas, but these two are the ones I'm currently focusing on.
If there are any more questions, feel free to ask and of course...share and contribute, even if it's a single dollar, it helps!
 
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