Industrial Designer Wanted

I have an idea for a product and need a product designer to model and render in 3D some prototype mockups. The world has never seen what a 3400 Farad capacitor can do, this is a relatively new invention by Maxwell, currently used for regenerative breaking and high current high power impulse loads.

UltraPowerBank: The worlds fastest USB portable charger

This huge 100 amp transformer can:

  • Charge a removable Maxwell UltraCapacitor in 52 seconds!
  • Power 20 USB ports with 5 amps dedicated each!
  • Is also a mig-welding power supply!
  • Has two parts: the heavy charger and the lightweight powerbank
  • Removable cells allow for continuous 24 hour mobile service delivery

Option to have the big heavy transformer jutting out of it:

I need a 3D rendered visual of something like this thing…. jutting out the top of a 20 port USB hub

The caps are Maxwells 2.85 volt Durablue 3.85 Wh removable shock proof UltraCaps.

The mobile pack design needs to hold one or two of these and provide – like any good mobile powerbank –  a couple of USB A host female sockets for charing your phone on the go and one microUSB female to allow to charge the cap on the go also, albeit much slower than 52 seconds, it would take 1.5 hours though on a regular 500 mA USB port:


These will plug into the unit you are about to design. Back home they can be charged quickly for those power hungry impatient types.

The unit will cost around $500 to $1000 retail and feature a lockable cabinet.

Welcome the arrival of the future energy world. Your solarnetwork.NZ

August 2018 for solarnetwork.

An example of how solarnetworks  function is revealed in the US state of Vermont, where utility Green Mountain Power drew on electricity from 500 Tesla Powerwall batteries installed in about 400 homes to address peak demand. The savings from wholesale electricity costs were so great – $US500,000 in one 1-hour peak demand period on July 5 – that GMP is able to offer the Powerwalls to consumers at just one-fifth of their normal price – $US1,500, or $15 a month – in exchange for being able to use some of the storage at certain times.

It is a formidable task  galvanizing policy support for wholesale distributed generation, or WDG. This means changing the way transmission costs are considered.  NZ has its own lobby in Wellington,Like the Clean Coalition in California, which is proposing feed-in tariffs for distributed solar generators who export their electricity. Such efforts will  help create a grid based eventually on community microgrids.

Wholesale distributed generation

WDG systems are distributed solar generated electricity exporters that are connected to the distribution grid and sell their electricity wholesale. Wholesale means a sale to a load-serving entity,. A load serving entity buys WDG and re-sells it to customers on a retail basis.

In California, about 17 percent of the renewable energy in the state comes from local solar, such as solar panels on rooftops and parking lots.

These resources offer great potential as WDG, but the potential is  as yet largely untapped,.


WDG systems avoid the need for expensive transmission

Consider how your excess  electricity, generated by your solar panels,could delivers it’s energy to the homes and businesses close by.  Rather than being distributed to the larger, high-voltage transmission network, with the voltage losses inherent during the step-up from 240v to 10 Kv. WDGs are produced and used locally, This  avoids expensive transmission costs and saves money.  That value will eventually be recognised by NZ Policy makers, who have yet to deal with  Corporate Hydro, which persists in  obstructing  WDG use.

It is now very clear that no need exists for utilities to charge grid transmission  rates for WDG.

It is expensive to transmit electricity over large, high-voltage lines. Nearly half the total wholesale cost, which is about 3 cents/kWh ,in NZ.

“Now that it is becoming   clear how much transmission costs, the value of DG is going up. When you add 3 cents/kWh to the value of WDG, it’s like adding 50 percent to the price of what utilities should be paying for WDG.”

How to open up the WDG market

A major way to open up the WDG market is to look differently at utility transmission costs. Unlike the Hawkes Bay Lines company which has  no demonstrable  justification for putting a grid-based transmission charge onto grid connected solar generators(whether or not  they export to the local lines or  use/store their energy on site). It is therefore necessary for government to create policy that recognises the benefits of WDG and insist that the costs of transmission are transparent.

Fortunately The investor-owned transmission lines company in Hawkes Bay is alone in being the only lines company to impose a punitive transmission charge on domestic solar generators.   There is no justification for this charge. The local energy is not going through the transmission grid, but only through the local distribution grid.

Putting a meter at transmission-to-distribution substations, would make it clear whether DG is coming from the larger lines or the local lines.

Value of feed-in-tariffs

In addition to taking a hard look at the cost of transmission, FITs provide long-term, predictable payments for distributed energy.

The existing  California Clean Coalition for distributed energy conveys that it is.“essentially  a rate tariff that’s pre-defined and standardized so that any party knows in advance the price they will sell energy for. There’s no negotiation. It is standard”.  They are seeing more WDG purchases in places where there are FITS and it has been figured out how to value WDG properly.”

For example, a FIT in Gainesville, Florida.,begun in 2009, helped Florida increase its solar PV capacity by 3,500 percent, keeping energy price increases  to less than 1 percent. In marked contrast to NZ where delivered energy prices  have increased 50% in a decade.


Along with FITs and more WDG on the grid, community microgrids will create locally produced energy with utilities paying for the energy provided by microgrids. However, many existing regulations prevent utilities from embracing community microgrids,

The existence of already  built solarnetworks ( will slowly but surely  influence regulatory change. Not to mention that  would consider  registering itself as a major generator  when its aggregated generation exceeds 50MW and battery electric vehicles pull into the highway recharge station and specify that they wish to have a solar recharge.

Read on…

Tony Atkinson with thanks to The Californian Clean Coalition.

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The Affordable Microgrid: Securing Electric Reliability through Outsourcing

The decision announced by the Australian Energy Market Commission in July this year is likely to encourage new players in the market, to aggregate solar and battery storage installed in homes and businesses, as well as load controls, in a major shift to the way demand and supply is managed.

In California Tesla and other proponents of virtual power plants and demand management schemes have scored a significant win after the country’s main energy market rule maker gave its support to the idea that they can compete freely on the wholesale electricity market.

This is  likely to encourage proponents of technologies that would manage the charging of electric vehicles, and the use of their combined battery capacity in the grid, and it could encourage peer-to-peer trading.

In short, it means that customers with battery storage and electric vehicles can strike contracts with providers other than their main retailers to provide power to the grid when needed. It sets a signal that the Australian grid is finally moving to embrace 21st century technologies.

That said, the AEMC – after years of deliberation and after initially rejecting the idea – has only given approval in principle. The idea still awaits a specific rule request that will likely repeat the battle between the proponents of new technologies, and those locked in the past.

Having such mechanisms will likely be a blow to the major incumbent generators, particularly those who rely on the existence of peak pricing events and the subsequent demand for market caps to underwrite their power plants.

Corporate Hydro is one of the most vocal opponents of the proposal, saying such a move could “reduce short-term high spot prices”.  Arguing that this would not necessarily be in the “overall interest of consumers.”

Tesla, Sonnen, Simec Zen, Reposit, Redback, Sunverge, and others argue for the development of “virtual power plants”. These are essentially rooftop solar and battery storage installations located “behind the meter” in homes and businesses which are connected by software. These “distributed energy resources” can be harnessed to help moderate prices and meet demand peaks.

Cheaper, cleaner, smarter, faster

The argument is that these technologies are cheaper, cleaner, smarter and faster than the current default response – which is to switch on dirty and expensive “peaking plants” powered by gas, diesel or coal.

The companies operating in the Australian market, and some public interest groups, are fighting for the same right to be recognised on equal footing with traditional fossil fuel generators, and to allow consumers to engage multiple retailers/aggregators at the same connection point.

“An active demand-side characterised by the active participation of consumers promotes efficient outcomes in the wholesale market,” the AEMC said in its concluding report.

rule change Still required

The change of heart is a long time coming, and it’s not as though the likes of Tesla and others will be able to go out and offer these services tomorrow, as it still requires a specific rule change and more consideration.

The AEMC has said it is OK with the idea.  It notes that consumer advocacy groups; the Total Environment Centre (TEC) and Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) have committed to presenting a rule change request soon. The devil will be in the detail of those proposals, and the response.

The AEMC notes that the increasing uptake of distributed energy resources, including solar PV, batteries, electric vehicles and dynamic, controllable, loads supports its decision. “A formerly passive demand side is becoming increasingly engaged through the uptake of distributed energy resources which is greatly expanding the choices that consumers have, to manage their energy needs at the household/business level,” it notes. It also notes the growing number of virtual power plants, where distributed energy resources are being orchestrated to provide services on a wholesale level. These include Simply Energy’s virtual power plant, the AGL virtual power plant, and the South Australian Power Networks virtual power plant.

This re-posted article originated on RenewEconomy, based in Australia, 


Raiden Network Powers Micro-payments for Power

The following video is a demonstration of a viable micro-payments platform called Raiden being used on top of the Crypto-currency and blockchain Ethereum, a likely successor to Bitcoin due to it’s Turing Complete virtual machine and smart contracts.

IOT = The Internet of Things. This demo shows a fast and efficiently settled transaction each 2,000 watt seconds (each 3 seconds in this demo). This may seem high and it is: it’s just a demo to show that the transaction cost is much lower because the transaction is processed localy, not on a global network of machines (the blockchain). This is an off-chain trasaction stream with on-chain setup and teardown of a “payment state channel”.

The Solar Network has soft-launched!

Solar Network NZ

Today the world became a better place – this is your invite you to join our nationwide network of distributed electricity generators with a focus on solar power generation.

If you haven’t already received a call from Doctor Tony from the Bay of Islands, expect one soon. We’re individually checking each invite – that’s shows how awesome we think this project is.

Because together, we are stronger.