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Power Troubles and Power Pleasures
Solar Server is down; I'm at a beautiful solar-powered residency
Happy summer ☀️
I am writing from a prototype of a renewable energy-based game art residency in beautiful British Columbia. Together with Dr. Cindy Poremba, we wanted to run a slow game-jam that focuses on using sustainable energy to see how that impacts game design. We’re only a few days in so I’ll report back when we have real data. We plan to publish our findings in a zine this Fall. So far, the highlights are having a solar-power kit that can be moved to wherever I feel like working outside, rather than being tethered to the indoors and wherever an outlet might be. Another highlight is that it is extremely gorgeous here in interior BC (and, in many parts, on fire).
This residency was funded through the Digital Greenhouse program at Canada Council for the Arts, so we had funds to purchase complete solar kits. It’s obviously much easier than Solar Server’s used, makeshift one that consists of an extremely heavy car battery. I can barely drag that a few inches, whereas this one is light enough to hold in one hand. Altogether this kit was about $1300 CAD, whereas Solar Server’s was around $400. I wish I spent more time looking to buy a used portable one for this residency instead of a new one, but money often overwhelms smarts. Regardless, I hope to use this kit for much more than this residency.
Solar Server has been down for a month now. I had trouble trying to install a power hat to the raspberry pi that measures the battery level. My current set up isn’t all secured down, so wires would slip out and after a few weeks of it running ok, I believe I fried the board.
I’m waiting for a new raspberry pi, which are hard to come by quickly, as well as being back at my apartment after 3 weeks of travel. My new plan is to buy a digital MPPT to have it more automatically read power levels without my previous finicky set up. I’m hoping the website will be back up in September, especially as I will be working on it handling the first game being released on it!
I’ll be in touch soon with more about Known Mysteries <3
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