This blog entry is about a small side-project that I've been working on for the last 6-months. Only recently did I get my act together and write it up.
Essentially it is a way to burn how much charge you have put into a battery that is transportable, and shareable with others by using an immutable blockchain. The blockchain acts as the truthstream river, and the portable battery itself is the transport settlement layer of the electrons. You can be quite sure that the battery was actually charged by a solar panel because of this new method. The method is just missing one part and that is an algorithmic method to lock discharge.
The process that I've come up with is called "Sunburning". It is essentially very similar to hashing reports, documents into blockchains in order to preserve the provenance of the data and to be confident about the history of the document or report in question. We have already used this on a commercial scale to protect Sunpulse project reports . Some more information of that can be found here at Report Hashing.
What I wanted to achieve was really just to spread an idea. The idea is this: we are only now just beginning to scratch the surface of the innovations that are possible with the crossover between hashing objects, processors, IoT, things, batteries, solar panels into only the SolarCoin blockchain.
I've chosen the SolarCoin blockchain this time as the medium to use because it is the one I am most familiar with. And I understand how the TXID and message space, TX Messages and the blockchain explorer works.
This process is not limited to the SolarCoin blockchain. For example, if there was a Tx Message space in the IOTA DAG, that would also be an interesting project to Sunburn into the tangle.
So here is my step by step process.
Make a QR code, preferably a code that is unique, and if it is removed from the battery it damages the private key held inside the QR code sticker. Also it would be good if the sticker itself is UV light resistant.
These codes here shown is just an illustrative example.
Stick the QR code to your battery source.
Choose your favourite Solar Panel. I chose my Anker 28W Sunpower cell portable charger. I usually use this one when I go camping and I love it. By the way, I am a solar engineer and I like these things. Sunpower and Panasonic are both leading in large scale cell efficiencies with their slightly different cell technologies. These mini modules are currently hovering around 22% efficient. With this panel I am able to charge about 1/4 of my mobile brick in a few short hours or about 2250 mAh.
You can get these wonderful USB Charge Doctors that switch automatically between a live Voltage and Current reading. If at that moment you multiply the Current by the Voltage in your mind, you will get a rough estimation of your live Power that is being generated by the solar panel. Remember Power is an instantaneous value, and Power multiplied by time is equal to the Energy produced in that time period.
Just a picture of the super simple setup. Essentially its plug and play.
This picture shows that my Power Brick is 3/4 full. So my aim is to charge about 1/4 (1 light) of the 9000 mAh battery in a few hours in the Tokyo June sun.
Sunburning. Ok, so now go to your SolarCoin wallet. I was able to scan in my QR code into my own internal database, but that database can be linked directly to the SolarCoin live wallet. Now when you do a transaction in your SolarCoin wallet write this similar message. The actual transaction can be found here. SolarCoin Blockchain
[text:Project Sunburnt test 2: This address is controlled by Solcrypto. For more info. of batterysunburning, please go to www.solcrypto.com and www.chainofthings.com. This is the start of a 1/4 charge of a Li-Ion battery 9000mAh, therefore a 2250mAh charge by solar. Charge code :000014-1, to discharge applysunscreenand reverse the charge code.]
Final step. Pack, give, share, your battery. Now this is currently the step that I am considering the most because there is currently no way to stop your battery discharging. So, in the future that should be done algorithmically in a contract. But, the idea is to share that stored solar "good energy" with others. I am going to send my brick to someone in Hong-Kong, they are going to then discharge it, a process that I call "applying sunscreen", or a way to heal the sunburn. The analogy that I am trying to make with normal human beings is getting sunburnt at the beach, then going home at the end of the day and applying sunscreen, or moisturiser to fix their skin. So with "sunscreening" in this sense we are reversing the effect of the solar charged battery. In this step one would actually have to pay for their privilege to discharge the battery, in this case connecting it to their phone. I would say it is a very small price in Tokyo to charge that by the grid. But, it might be at a premium rate if people are now certain that it is charged by solar cells. So I am assigning an arbitrary value of 1SLR (1 solarcoin) for that energy. Or about 25-30 yen at the time of writing. The actual value might be much less than that.