Restep promotes the conscious use of renewable energy. It is an intelligent power system that integrates renewable energy inputs, energy storage, telemetry and control. This open source hardware is intended as a utility and an educational tool.
Somewhere between a LEGO, an Arduino, and a Power Wall, the Restep system provides a flexible environment for powering just about any 100 Watt load. Data gathered from the system enables intelligent and efficient use of energy. For example, loads can be engaged when power is directly available from the sun or wind to minimize power loss in charging and discharging the battery. The battery can be judiciously utilized and prevented from running completely down. Many deliberate little steps can make big changes.
The block diagram above outlines the general architecture of the system. This modular design allows a scalable and customizable system to meet a variety of uses and environments. The Mother Module is the foundation of the system, with the other modules stacking onto it. Not all modules are necessary, and the combination of modules can be tailored to a specific application.
Above: the four prototype modules are mated in an open frame arrangement for probing and troubleshooting. In the end product, each module will have a weather-tight aluminum enclosure to protect the electronics from the elements. This system is intended for either indoor or outdoor use.
Below: Each module is shown in detail. The design will evolve to reduce environmental and dollar cost, prolong lifespan, and simplify the overall construction. A beta phase is currently in development.