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Not sure if there is an intro forum so I posted here Answered

I posted this in the pro section as well under the "welcome" forum, not really sure where it belongs. . .


Hey guys, I just wanted to introduce myself to the community here, and shoot some ideas off of you.  I have been a lurker going on a year now for instructables, and I decided to join when my friend submitted a project.  He did the www.instructables.com/id/Pallet-Playhouse/ Pallet Playhouse where he built a playhouse out of used pallet wood.  If you haven't seen if, I would suggest a quick look he did a good job on it!

For me, I think I have decided on what I want to do, and I wanted some suggestions from you guys in terms of what I could do for my project.  I want to build a system to connect ski boots to skis and recharge the heaters on the boots via solar power on your skis.  Now, I am not sure of the surface area of solar cells that I would need, the power the boots usually run off of, if it is better to just buy an existing system, or if I should put in some kapton heaters and a control system, and do the board design myself.  I have seen even etching for board designs here, so I could theoretically do this very cheap in terms of monetary cost if I wanted to go that route.  What I am looking for is going through a good cost breakdown analysis, what my budget in time and money is, and what is doable.  I am pretty handy, and will mess with anything I can get my hands on, and I have a fairly high learning IQ so I would be able to replicate most of the instructables here just to give you an idea at what I could do.

So here is what my ideas are initially.  Taking an existing boot and battery system, disconnecting the existing battery pack, putting on my own battery system, and using the solar power to top off/charge the batteries. . .or using the solar power to power the batteries.  I still need to see what the power requirement is for existing boots, and what the maximum power output per ski would be if I had solar cells on the ski, what to do with the excess power, if there is any, how to handle the overflow power, waterproofing the system etc, but I think it is doable.  I am unemployed, and I have a business that I am planning, but I am awaiting loan approval from the bank, so I have a few weeks of free time soon.  I was thinking of some cool projects to do, came to the sight and thought of my own.  I figured this would be a great project to learn some stuff about ee, since I am a me by trade.  Anyhow, I love the site, wanted to introduce myself, and if you have any ideas of suggestions, please let me know.

Cheers,
Michael

Discussions

0
lemonie
lemonie

10 years ago

People buy electrically-heated ski-boots?
You're not going to get much energy out of solar panels, and you've got snow getting in the way too. Also mains charging may not be a worse option. I'd leave that one - what other ideas have you got?

L

0
chomerics
chomerics

Reply 10 years ago

Yea, there are plenty of different versions of heated ski boots, just google it.  There are also heated gloves, as well as 2 different companies that make heated insoles. 

What I want to do is heat the boots via solar on the skis.  I can get a bunch of 5w minko type capton heaters for $100 from Birk engineering, and I can get a 12W folding solar panel display.  6W is enough heat to keep the boots warm with a 5W heater, so I will have to disassemble the array and strap them to the skis.  There will have to be some kind of a board to handle the electricity spikes, a capacitor, a battery, some inline resistors and other electrical componenets to manage the electricity.  Also, there won't be as much snow on the boots when you need the heat the most, on the lift.  Rather than thinking of something else, I would want to try to figure out how to get this to work.  It is a good project, as it melds two different types of technology out there, neither of which is all that advances right now in terms of physics and technology. 

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lemonie
lemonie

Reply 10 years ago

If this is a business idea, do research your market. Will enough people buy  the device, rather than buying existing products? Will they charge (electrically) enough?

L

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chomerics
chomerics

Reply 10 years ago

No, this is not a business idea, and I do not want to market the product at this point in time.  There is already a patent on it, and I really do not feel like paying royalties for something that I want to do as a fun project which will help hone my engineering skills, as well as teach me some new ones in the field of ee.  I am basically doing it because I am sick of having frozen toes and stopping my outdoor activities because of it.  I also have a bit of free time to do the project over the next few weeks so I figured this would be a good place to post for suggestions on how to set it up.  As I mentioned before, I have the schematic drawn out minus the board and battery, and I am not sure what I am going to need in terms of top off power and what size battery I am going to use.  I would prefer to go with a li-ion battery for low weight/power ratio as well as lack of memory.  

0
Goodhart
Goodhart

Reply 10 years ago

I would think that the fragile solar panels would break up easily on skiis. Glass and bouncing around don't go together too well sometimes.