Page 1 of 1

EnergyTeachers' presence in Second Life

Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:15 pm
by shawn
For the past two weeks, I have been exploring Second Life (SL), an online world full of tens of thousands of people, some just visiting, some spending most their waking hours there.
I recently set up a booth there with labels, selling a box-type solar cooker, as discussed in the February 2007 article:
An automatic vendor on the booth sells the cooker for 16 Linden dollars, which currently trades for about four cents. That is, I would sell it, if anyone bought it. No takers yet, but maybe because there have been severe problems in all of Second World that have been hampering normal transactions and enjoyment--Hopefully not an omen. Still, it costs very little to have an informative presence in SL, so now we have one.
Greenpeace, other NGOs, even the EPA have a presence there. There are many people hawking solar panels and wind turbines, and there are educational exhibits about geothermal, the grid, and more.
There are special teen-only areas, for their protection against yucky adults, where school groups get together to learn online, with streaming video and audio, chat, etc. By the way, online chat is a very interesting way to stay in touch and help your students learn.
If you already are involved in Second Life, or you'd like to explore it, contact me here in Real World (RL) by replying to this post, or contact me in SL at Etopia; my handle there is Solar Sierra.

Sold two solar cookers on Second Life

Posted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 11:17 am
by shawn
Later in the same day I posted the first post in this topic, yesterday, I sold two solar cookers for about US 4 cents each. I wonder how much people would be willing to pay for a such simple solar cooker kit in real life. You can start to answer this question at Solar Cookers International:

Starting to meet energy educators in Second Life

Posted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 3:53 pm
by shawn
Our own Windy Schor, a Second Life avatar, met Szavanna Anatra, another avatar, and the discussion led to solar cooking. Szavanna gave us a link to her blog, including items on solar cooking:
Check out the blog, see entries on solar cooking.

Solar cooking workshop in Second Life

Posted: Thu May 01, 2008 12:44 pm
by shawn
Second Life is an online, virtual reality with tens of thousands of users online at any time, from around the world. I've created an "avatar" there, named Solar Sierra, who discusses solar technologies and sells virtual solar cookers.
You can learn more about Second Life at their web site:
The workshops I'm giving occur on an island in Second Life, called Etopia, May 5 and 14, 2008, at 1PM Pacific Daylight Savings Time (California time).

Solar tours in Second Life

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:48 pm
by shawn
Solar Sierra will be giving two tours of demostration-sites using solar technologies, mostly photovoltaic, but also solar hot water and solar cooking, in Second Life.
Saturday, June 7, 7:30AM SLT (Pacific Standard Time).
Wednesday, June 18, 11:30AM SLT (PST).
Both tours will leave from Etopia Prime within 15 minutes of starting time. Solar will leave a notecard giver, with all the landmarks of the tour and the itinerary, at the Etopia Prime teleport point.
We will tour just a few sims, so that we aren't spending more time travelling than discussing: Etopia, DELTA, and Commonwealth will be at the top of the list, for the first 75 minutes. Those who want to continue can see some more example sites, and then we will return to Etopia Island (north of Etopia Prime) to see Solar's unique solar-builds after 90 minutes.

Wind Education discussion in Second Life

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 9:57 pm
by WindySchor
I will be facilitating a discussion about wind in Second Life, a virtual online reality (see more articles in this thread about SL).
Representing RL educational organization, I will lead a discussion about building educational devices using SL wind.
The wind flowing through Second Life sims is based on computational fluid dynamics. It blows on-shore and off-shore, away from the sun, and is affected by parcels of air in neighboring sims.
I have built several interactive, dynamic objects that can be used in SL and in RL situations to learn about wind and wind power. I even have built a web-connected anemometer that reads SL wind speed and direction, uploads the information periodically to a database on the internet, and provides data for classroom use or for mapping winds on a large SL map of a sim.
The discussion group will meet at Etopia Island (220,76,21), where there are several wind turbines and an anemometry experiment underway.
All educators, and friends, interested in SL wind, weather, and using SL tools to teach SL and RL concepts, are warmly invited.
June 11 8AM SLT (Pacific Daylight Savings Time) and June 15 4PM SLT.
You can see wind data from SL at ... lector.php

Energy Education in Second Life

Posted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:26 am
by jsclarkfl
On a somewhat related topic, there are a number of energy-education builds and simulations in SL, such as Energy Futures. Some have more of an emphasis on climate change or environmental issues, with energy as a side topic. You can try out wind turbines or view tide-energy systems in action, etc. Well worth exploring for those who have not already done so.

The Association of Internet Researchers conference has a panel on "Science in Virtual Worlds" this fall; I'll be there and also at the National Communication Association's annual conference doing a poster session on environmental ed in SL. Although I am certainly interested in SL's use as a platform for energy and environmental education, I'm also studying its potential for mis-education, so to speak: how, for example, representations of the natural world can be built in such a way as to reinforce inaccurate understandings and reproduce injustice. Quite a literature in this area.

Joe Clark / JS Saltwater (in Second Life)

New wind histogram in Second Life

Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:58 pm
by WindySchor
Solar Sierra and I have created a "Sustainable Energy Science Lab" at Etopia in Second Life:
Yesterday I created an add-on to my wind turbine there. The turbine keeps track of how much energy it produces every second, according to a real-life power curve for a Bergey 10kW wind turbine and the realistic, simulated wind it experiences. The add-on shows a histogram of the wind speeds, showing how often the wind blows at 1m/s +/-0.5m/s, 2 m/s, 3 m/s, etc.
When first commissioned, the histogram shows how the wind has been blowing for those few seconds/minutes, but after an hour or so, the histgram settles into a classic Weibull diagram, a realistic distribution of wind speeds.
In case you haven't read my article, I'll just mention that Second Life is a virtual world online where tens of thousands of people meet, including educators, to discuss whatever they feel like and/or role-play.
I'm using the Second Life model to practice programming a real-life datalogging anemometer, that will use minimal resources to store a histogram of wind speeds instead of a time-series.
I invite all comments.

Sustainable Energy Science Lab Grand Opening

Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 4:31 pm
by shawn
Join Windy Schor and Solar Sierra for the grand opening of the Sustainable Energy Science Lab, an endeavor of to study and to demonstrate renewable energy and energy efficiency using dynamic objects and other Second Life (a virtual reality) tools. Come ride an elevator to the top of a beautiful wind turbine modeled after a Vestas V-52, see how solar cookers can be built, observe and analyze data from a wind turbine, and meet others interested in sustainable energy.
Attendees will receive free (virtual) solar cookers and wind socks.
The event will take place at Etopia, a model eco-village on two sims, Etopia Island and Etopia Prime, Nov 7 and Nov 9, 12-2 SLT (Pacific Standard Time).

Our Second Life Lab added as a Project at

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:37 pm
by WindySchor
I noticed that our lab is now an official "project" now that has a projects section: ... oject_id=6

Wind energy results from 5-month test

Posted: Fri May 01, 2009 5:19 pm
by WindySchor
Using 5 months of data, collected at our Vestas V52 turbine ("Big Turbine") at Etopia Island, we have shown how wind speeds affect the performance of the turbine.
In the graphs below, the first shows the power curve of the Vestas V52, according to the manufacturer.
The second shows how often the wind has blown at speeds between 0 and 24 m/s. Note that 3 m/s is the mode, and 4 m/s is the average, and the wind blows 10 m/s 4% of the time.
The third shows that more power was generated when the wind was blowing 10 m/s than at any other speed, even though it only blew 10 m/s 4% of the time. This analysis underscores the importance of knowing the statistics about the wind, more than just the average wind speed.

Open House at Sustainable Energy Science Lab 2009-07-21

Posted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:32 pm
by WindySchor
I'm hosting an open house at our lab on Etopia Island in Second Life. From 10AM to 12PM, Pacific Daylight Savings Time.
Please visit and see my newest tools for studying wind.

Another wind educator using Second Life

Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:47 pm
by shawn
I see Windy isn't the only one using Second Life for wind education. Josh Cochran at the Greenbush Southeast Kansas Education Service Center uses a private sim for wind experiments with his students, who attend the center for after-school enrichment. ... gy-schools