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Wind fans

14th October 2015

Challenged by the smart citizens lab series organized by De Waag Society our team wanted to
come up with something that would be useful to the Amsterdammers.

As inveterate bikers, we find the “opposite direction” wind and “wind tunnelling through certain streets” extremely annoying and a total waste of energy.

Based on this, we came up with the idea of spreading wind sensors around the city to measure wind speed and direction, which would allow us to create a “wind map” of the city thus providing the optimised path between two points A and B.

On top of that, these sensors would generate energy – our first goal was to find out how much energy we could generate from a small prototype.

We managed to create a small device using a little DC motor, an ESP8266 wifi module, a little battery and a stylish 3D printed case and propeller, which, when you rotate the propeller, generates a little voltage and sends that information via wifi.

The help and support of the Waag Society during the project, special mention deserves Emma Pareschi, was crucial to overcome the different problems we found building our sensor.

Current status

We have built the wind sensor and we are able to send data. We are now more focus on the energy that our sensor can generated and for that our next efforts will be focused on:

  • Calibrate our device against a real weather station.
  • Build a REST Api that allows us to store the data in a web sever in order to create nice visualisations.
  • Replicating the sensor and deploy them in different locations of Amsterdam, to get a good overview of the wind in the city.

It has been a very rewarding experience and I have got to know many interesting people during this beautiful learning journey.

I want to thank Praditha Handayani, Jorg Bosman, Roberta Colavecchio, Leanne Fok and Andreia Veiga for all the effort and positive attitude that allowed us to get to this point.

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