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Self-sufficiency of 3-D printers: utilizing stand-alone solar photovoltaic power systems

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Sunhusky.png By Michigan Tech's Open Sustainability Technology Lab.

Wanted: Students to make a distributed future with solar-powered open-source 3-D printing.
Contact Dr. Joshua Pearce - Apply here

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This page is part of an international project to use RepRap 3-D printing to make OSAT for sustainable development. Learn more.

Research: Open source 3-D printing of OSAT RecycleBot LCA of home recyclingGreen Distributed Recycling Ethical Filament LCA of distributed manufacturingRepRap LCA Energy and CO2 Solar-powered RepRapssolar powered recyclebot Feasibility hub Mechanical testingRepRap printing protocol: MOST‎ Lessons learnedMOST RepRap BuildMOST Prusa BuildMOST HS RepRap buildRepRap Print Server


Make me: Want to build a MOST RepRap? - Start here!Delta Build Overview:MOSTAthena Build OverviewMOST metal 3-D printer Humanitarian Crisis Response 3-D Printer



Pearce Publications: Energy Conservation Energy Policy Industrial SymbiosisLife Cycle Analysis Materials Science Open Source Photovoltaic Systems Solar CellsSustainable Development Sustainability Education


Source[edit]

Abstract[edit]

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A self-replicating rapid prototyper (RepRap) is a type of 3-D printer capable of printing many of its own components in addition to a wide assortment of products from high-value scientific or medical tools to household products and toys. There is some evidence that these printers could provide low-cost distributed manufacturing in underprivileged rural areas. For the most isolated communities without access to the electric grid, a low-cost alternative energy is needed. Solar energy can be harvested through a stand-alone photovoltaic (PV) power system specifically designed to match the needs of the RepRap. The voltage and current requirement for the printer demands the use of buck along with a bidirectional DC converters to ensure proper operation. This paper provides the design for a stand-alone PV—lithium ion battery power system with an efficient controller. Robust and agile PI controller schemes are utilized to efficiently maintain the distribution of energy through the power system. The system was defined with ordinary differential equations, simulated and tested for two operational conditions in MATLAB/Simulink. The results showed that the controller developed operates the system in a stable condition and the simulation shows steady acceptable behavior that makes this system highly suitable for hardware implementation.


Keywords[edit]

Appropriate Technology; Distributed Manufacturing; Open Source Hardware; Photovoltaic; Solar Energy; 3D Printing; OSAT; off grid; Distributed power; Electrical storage


Other Versions of Solar Powered 3-D Printers[edit]

See Also[edit]