[oshug-announce] OSHUG #38 — Energy, Thursday 19th February.

Andrew Back arback at computer.org
Wed Jan 28 19:25:36 UTC 2015


Registration is now open for the February meeting. Details below.




Event #38 — Energy (Exploring "open" in energy, Electricity from
Woodchips, OpenTRV)

19 February 2015, 17:30 - 20:00 at BCS London, 1st Floor, The Davidson
Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA.

  Registration: http://oshug.org/event/38

The thirty-eighth meeting will take a look open source technologies in
support of the generation and efficient use of energy.

— Exploring "Open" in Energy

Arcola Energy builds energy systems using fuel cells powered by
hydrogen. Fuel cells are one of those great ideas that has yet to gain
much traction in real markets. They put men on the moon, but since
then commercial progress has been slow. One way of opening up uses of
fuel cells is to involve a much wider developer community. To explore
this Arcola has developed a fuel cell developer kit and started on the
road to working with open source groups. This talk will look at our
journey, the success to far and the challenges ahead.

Richard Kemp-Harper is a former research scientist who spent several
years managing web development, including open source systems at
Oxfam. He then moved into technology and innovation, working at
Innovate UK running innovation programmes in intelligent mobility,
rail and energy. He specialises in not being a specialist.

— Electricity from Woodchips — An Edwardian Idea — Tamed with 21st
Century Microelectronics

First studied in the 1820s, gasification is the process of converting
a hydrocarbon solid fuel, such as coal or wood, into a low calorific
value gas suitable for running an internal combustion engine. Used for
vehicle transportation during World War 2 — gasification has enjoyed a
renaissance at the start of the 21st Century. Low cost, open source
microelectronics are used to tame this technology, from a labour
intensive manual process, to a fully automated turnkey system.

In January 2012, Ken Boak quit his UK electronic design job and
travelled to Berkeley, California, to work on a new biomass energy
project — an open source, microcontroller based control system for a
wood chip fired CHP system.

The company — an East Bay area start-up — "All Power Labs", had a
compact, self-contained biomass gasification system, close to

In the 6 month contract, Ken productionised the open source, control
and automation system, using standard, globally available components
and rationalised the wiring loom so that low cost, modular assembly
was practical.

Ken started his career at BBC Research Department in 1986 working on
digital signal processing systems for HDTV - and subsequently over 30
years, a mix of 10 other technology companies, both UK and US based,
in the fields of instrumentation, automation, telemetry and telecomms.

Ken tries to live a low impact lifestyle in a modest Edwardian house
in Surrey, with a little help from modern electronics.

— Scratching the itch: saving the planet

When BigCo and .gov are not sorting your problem then open everything
makes it easier for you to scratch your own itch, especially with the
very positive innovation support around right now, possibly the best
for 30 years. And when you can save the planet, be your own boss, and
meet and work with lots of fabulous interesting people, what’s holding
you back?

Damon Hart-Davis is lead on the OpenTRV open source project created
following his 2012 presentation to DECC's smart heating workshop. He
has freelanced in technology for over 30 years, delivering
mission-critical products from design to BAU in the City for more than
20 of those, and has founded and been involved in several start-ups
over that time with his creations seen on TV, the Web, and his
pioneering Internet Service Provider helping crack open that market
more than 20 years ago. A previous virtual/on-line credit-card company
start-up that he co-founded as CTO, Ixaris, turns over ~£10m.

Mark Hill spent 15 years in the City after a solid grounding in IT at
the chip level at the microprocessor manufacturer Inmos, designing and
delivering highly complex systems. Project management, direction and
governance are all part of his toolkit. He now speaks regularly about
innovation, collaboration and IoT. Recently he founded a mobile phone
software start-up and is now OpenTRV Ltd's co-founder.

Note: Please aim to arrive by 18:15 as the first talk will start at
18:30 prompt.


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