Adaptive Facade Mock-up Update: Initial Deployment

Development of the v2 facade mock-up has reached I point at which it can finally be deployed!  I will be deploying it for approximately 6 hours today on the South porch here at Crown Hall to see how all of the applications and components handle extended use, and capture a working set of data to improve upcoming versions.  I’ll be shooting for a 2pm start time in order to capture data as the sun sets at 6:59pm central time.

I expect that the Nano-muscle (a.k.a. Flexinol Shape Memory Alloy Actuators) to build up a lot of heat as they work to keep the vents and fritted panes moving in the sunlight.  In the past, I’ve experienced problems with the Nano-muscles getting too hot and essentially destroying themselves.  I’ve lowered the pulse width modulation signal going to them and installed heat sinks to compensate, but they still get pretty hot.

v2 ready to be closed up

The live data feed is public.  Please feel free to take a look.

Data taken from the sensors on the Arduino Mega 2650 , then fed to using the Processing app/Pachube library.

Processing, Arduino, and PGAdmin (showing PostgreSQL database tables with recorded information)


4 thoughts on “Adaptive Facade Mock-up Update: Initial Deployment

  1. As suspected, the Nano-muscles gave out pretty quickly. In fairness, those that did break had were older and had some patch-work fixes done on them. I will get the feed going again next week though. The actuators won’t actually be functioning, but the data graphs will reflect what they would be doing as if they were.

    Another prototype is forthcoming, and I hope to have the bugs worked out. I intend to make a larger mock-up this time, with small stepper motors in lieu of the Nano-muscles, as well as significant changes to the code to allow for more intelligent behavior.

    I’ve also decided to post my Arduino and Processing code. Check it out in the Code Hosting page.

  2. For some reason, the local weather station’s XML feed stopped producing data. The XML file still existed, but I was getting a null pointer exception because there was no value given for the various parameters. I’ve switched to another feed that is originating for a station at Midway Airport. It’s further away, but still close enough to yield accurate data.

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