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How to build a hybrid solar/wind energy harvester?

Archives for November 2012

Early Prototyping: ‘blink those leds’

A bottom-up or a top-down approach? In order to be able to try something out, to proof something is technically viable, it is absolutely necessary to do early prototyping and provide ‘POTs’. A Proof Of Technology is just substantiating that there is a potential solution to a technical problem: We must emphasize that it is […]


Adopting MISRA-C guidelines in your software development process – best practices

Implementing functional safety by means of achieving a certain safety integrity level (SIL) is a matter of reducing risks. On the software side this results among other things in the adoption of a language subset, which often is a required SIL parameter. As C and, to a lesser extent, C++ are popular programming languages for developing embedded software, a […]


The relay

Introduction A relay – in this context – is an electronic switch and can be controlled by micro-controller logic. There are different types of relays, with different pin configurations. A 4-pin relay can be OFF (not conducting current) or ON (conducting current): 2 pins are powering and thus controlling the relay and the other 2 […]


Some basic hands-on experience with a dump load

Introduction The dump load (already introduced here) is used to burn the excess energy of our battery charger. The excess is typically generated by the wind turbine in windy conditions. In contrast with solar energy, the battery charger must accept wind energy in order to protect the wind turbine. For that reason the dump load […]


Development: a mixed top-down, bottom-up approach

Introduction In a previous post we proposed our RTOS engineering process: a lean and iterative process, which cycles between project management and development (see Figure). In this post we describe our development approach that can mitigate the risks and uncertainties of developing a new product in a new domain. But before we come to that, we introduce the two […]


Charge controller system architecture

Documenting architectures Architectures are documented by views, and so that is how we proceed too. The goal of a view is to describe the system from the viewpoint of its stakeholders. Several architectural view models exist and probably the most famous one is the 4+1 model of Kruchten (see here). For the energy harvester we […]