Blog of Urs Riggenbach

Hybrid Power Generation at Air University, Islamabad

Posted Friday 17 July 2015 by Urs Riggenbach.

Muhammad Hassaan is a 23 year old engineering student from Pakistan. For his final project, Muhammad and his two other teammates Zia Bakht Butt and Bilal Ahmad designed a hybrid solar and biomass power generation system. Part of their system was a solar concentrator, and they were looking for a simple and effective design to bundle sunlight.

Muhammad Hassaan, engineering student at Air University.

Solar concentration and solar thermal energy are not new themes at Air University, Islamabad. Students prior to Hassaan have been experimenting with solar thermal and even attempted to build a solar concentrator.

The old model, fabricated last year based on a different design, was an 8 feet diameter parabolic concentrator. The problem with this parabolic concentrator was that it wasn’t achieving its focus point. They used small mirrors as reflecting material, almost 200 pieces of mirror were attached to this concentrator. But due to the overly complicated design and fabrication errors, the concentrator’s shape was not a perfect parabola and its focus did not gather at a single point.

With GoSol.org’s Sol4 model, Muhammad thinks to have found the perfect method to concentrate sunlight in an efficient and simple way. "Out of all designs that I’ve looked at, your system simply makes the most sense. "

The system is designed to be a hybrid: when the sun isn’t shining, biogas can be burnt to create heat needed to power a steam engine for electricity generation. The biogas system is designed by students Zia Bakht Butt and Bilal Ahmad, and the team is supervised by Dr. Syed Lehaz Ullah Kaka Khel from Air University, Islamabad.

Stay tuned for the next post in this sequence about spreading our technology with Free the Sun.


Swiss Schoolclass is Building a Sol4

Posted Monday 13 July 2015 by Urs Riggenbach.

Kurt Baumann is a handicraft teacher in Langenthal, Switzerland. He is our first MultiPass supporter, and wants to build a solar concentrator as an educational project together with his students.

Kurt teaches his students anything from woodworking to welding to general handicraft skills. Building the Sol4 his’ class final project and the 15 to 16 year old students are truly mastering their task.

Here are some images from the constructions underway.


Sol4 Guide Ready for Early Adopters

Posted Sunday 5 July 2015 by Urs Riggenbach.

We’ve just finished the first version of the Sol4 guide and now all our Early-Adopters get to download it and start building right away!

As early adopter you get to build first. You get access to the construction guide, and details of the expected budget, time to build and construction notes and tips. On the hub you can ask questions and provide feedback at every step. By building before we release the guides for free, you help us validate the guides and make sure that they are as intuitive as possible.

Building the Builder’s Community
Our Early Adopters are living the mission of GoSol.org - taking our tech to new places. In the coming weeks we’ll be posting about these builders, who they are and what they’re up to. Click here to become a builder.

Join us for the next steps to "Free The Sun"
We are continuing our campaign with the aim to provide free material for people to build their energy independence. The next milestone is the Solar Oven guide, that turns a Sol4 into an oven for baking, roasting and many other activities.

Soon we’ll also finish the first version of the Sol1 guide. The Sol1 guide will also be the guide that we release publicly first, followed by the Sol4 guide.

Make it possible, join "Free The Sun"!

Let’s build!
Urs and the GoSol.org team

... Read whole article

SunFire South Africa Supports the #FreeTheSun Campaign

Posted Thursday 16 April 2015 by Urs Riggenbach.

Crosby Menzies, founder of SunFire Solutions in Johannesburg, South Africa, is supporting our #FreeTheSun campaign.

It’s an important partner for us because Crosby has expertise in solar cookers and a huge network in South Africa. This team is with us since the beginning of the GoSol.org adventure and it’s a heart warming partnership.


Finnish Cleantech Delegation to San Francisco and L.A.

Posted Monday 30 March 2015 by Urs Riggenbach.

Last week I visited California as part of a Finnish cleantech delegation led by Ms. Lenita Toivakka, Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade of Finland. The business delegation was attended by industry leaders and newcomers in the Finnsih cleantech sector.

Finland hosts a surprising lot of cleantech companies, ranging from sustainable mobility solutions to cloud-based energy monitoring systems and a variety of net-zero technologies and products. In 2014, Finland was ranked second globally in cleantech innovations.

Mr. Juha Markkanen, Consul General to Finland in L.A. supported the delegation by pulling in various authorities from the state. It was distinguishing to see the support of the Finnish embassy. "Every embassy should do this", Markkanen says when asked about his proactive stance in supporting Finnish business abroad.

The highlights of the trip were a visit to Google with a pitch session at Google Green, visiting Tesla’s headquarters and taking part in the Nordic Green Tech Forum organized by Team Finland.

Team Finland is promoting Finnish industries and know-how abroad. Finpro, as a member of Team Finland, organized the trip. We want to thank FinPro and Team Finland for this excellent opportunity and we look forward to being part of upcoming delegations.

Image: ©Idean, Opening Ceremony in L.A.


Interview with Alan Bigelow, PhD, Columbia University

Posted Wednesday 4 March 2015 by Urs Riggenbach.

Alan Bigelow is a physicist that develops optical and ion-beam technologies at Columbia University. Passionate about solar energy and what it can do to solve our problems, Alan shares his views on solar concentration in this interview.


Arnaud Crétot’s Interview for Libres! Le Film

Posted Tuesday 24 February 2015 by Urs Riggenbach.

Our thermal engineer Anaud Crétot talks about our energy future in this interview for
Libres Le Film (in French).

Arnaud Crétot, ingénieur thermicien et Directeur Scientifique de GoSol.org, raconte à travers son parcours dans le monde de l’énergie, comment la question des choix énergétiques éclaire les inquiétudes sur la pérennité de nos modèles sociaux, sur la stabilité sociale et sur l’avenir de nos activités humaines. ­­­- Voir sur le site de Libres Le Film

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