This blog post serves as the documentation for the work on display at Paillard 2015.
Energy Harvesting, game
Victory over the Sun is a dress which makes it possible to compare the use of several ways of generating energy. In this version the energy of a solar cell can be compared to the energy generated by rotating a hand crank. The amounts of energy for each source is played out to each other on this wearable. Varying circumstances, inside outside, shade, sun gives different results. Playing this game with this wearable is apropriate because it is easily displaced in different situations, sun, shadow, twilight etc
By playing the gameit becomes clear that it takes a lot of effort to generate an amount of energy to load the supercap, that the sun generates this energy effortlessly when it shines optimally on the solar cell, but that this solar cell is not always (most of the times not at all) in optimal placement when you run around in this dress.
The material used for this dress is pieces of worn out jeans which are still usable. This recycling of material fits the project concept of harvesting energy, that is using energy which is self generated or “left over”. In theory this using worn out material seems nice, but in practice worn out really means the fabric is weak even if you don’t notice it directly. It can be seen at several places that the fabric is very fragile.
For the course of this energy game two verticals rows of bright LED’s are visible at the front of the dress. These lines of LED’s have a double indication. The main indication will an lit LED at the scale of the energy generated, the higher in the row the more energy, the second is another LED which uses the whole scale to indicate progress.
The second expressive behavior occurs after the game, in the discharging mode. The back light up in red and white and these colors fade gradually depending on the discharging rate.
Left to right: hand crank, supercaps, ATtiny85’s, LTC3105
The energy of the Sun is generated by a solar cell. For the hand crank is used a hacked Ljusa of IKEA. The energy of both sources is stored into two seperated 10F supercaps. Two ATtiny85 monitor the voltage in these supercaps. If the voltage in the supercaps stayes above the 5V a winning indication is flashed over the LED’s.
Then the energy is released. The first idea was using an LTC3105 energy harvesting chip to store the energy back into the lipo, charging the lipo.
The second idea was to use the bright Ljusa LED’s inside the back of the silhouet, so creating “a second” expressive behavior.
For the Paillard exhibition a special presentation mode is made. The electronics has got its own small shade lamps, and the front LED’s will be lit, simulating a game. After the simulated game the back will be lit as if the supercaps discharge.
Victory over the Sun is an artistic research result of a Design & Energy harvesting investigation: http://interactionstation.wdka.hro.nl/wiki/Research#Research:_Design_and_Energy_Harvesting
Victory over the Sun was displayed at the Hochschule für Künste in Bremen in 2015.
Victory over the Sun will also be presented at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam in octobre 2015.
Former posts about this project:
First and Second sketch version: