Presentation on theme: "TechXplore 2007- 2008 Sponsored by the National Science & Technology Education Partnership (NSTEP)"— Presentation transcript:
TechXplore Sponsored by the National Science & Technology Education Partnership (NSTEP)
Our Statement This TechXplorer project was done and completed by Soung Hun (Eric) Kim and Young Hyun Kim of Queens High School for the Sciences at York College. The project was also greatly helped by our mentor, Zach Adams of the FAA and our facilitators: Shanaz Baksh and Thomas Cork. This experiment dealt with engineering a new source of energy for automobiles to reduce gaseous emissions into the atmosphere.
Introduction: The problem that the world is currently facing deals with the excess use of fossil fuel. Not only is fossil fuel now turning expensive year by year, but fossil fuels cause great emissions of carbon dioxide gas and this threatens the atmosphere of the planet we live in. Global warming has threatened the society for countless years and since we can’t find a true way to stop global warming, what we can do is to provide an alternative fuel source that will provide sufficient energy to take the place of the usage of fossil fuel. Automobiles by far exert the most emissions in to the air and thus by finding an alternative source of energy for automobiles, we feel that it would greatly affect the environment. What we have suggested is to use something natural to propel our automobile. We felt that since wind and air current is present everywhere in the world, at least when the car is moving, it would be sufficient to propel an automobile. Researching energy provided by the use of wind turbines, we feel that by inventing an efficient wind turbine, we can fuel a car and thus use it as an alternate fuel source.
Problem: How can we provide sufficient energy to propel an automobile?
Roles of the member: Soung (Eric) Hun Kim: Group leader, designer, and writer. Since our group consisted of only two members, both Young and I had to take multiple responsibilities. Despite the fact that we both worked on the project together, I had the responsibility to write down our ideas, present it, and also to design and draw how the turbines would look like. Young Hyun Kim: Designer and website facilitator. The responsibilities of Young were to also design and draw the turbines that would be used and also to present it online onto the website. Strengths and Interests of the members: Eric: Eric is currently a junior attending Queens High School for the Sciences at York College. Currently taking two APs, Eric is challenging himself during his junior year. Loving science and mathematics, Eric is pushing his way towards an engineering career. His goal is to attend Cooper Union located in Manhattan. Being adept at sciences, Eric deals with a lot of the technicalities involved in this project, like designing and inventing a new turbine. Outside of school and this project, Eric enjoys playing soccer and many other sports. Currently in an outside soccer team and currently trying to start a soccer team for his school, Eric is very well rounded. Young: Young also attends Queens High School for the Sciences at York College and is currently a senior. Already accepted to Boston College, Young is dedicating his time to complete this project. Having taken AP Chemistry and AP Calculus BC, Young is also adept at designing and inventing the new turbine. It is evident that these two students both have the skill to engineer this new invention.
Possible Solutions: The first solution presented is a call for a new invention that we have designed. The second and third solutions are vaguely surfacing around the country, but needs a lot more development and structure. Solution A: Create an effective wind turbine that will provide sufficient energy. Solution B: Invent a way in which water can be separated in the car to use hydrogen as a source of energy. Solution C: Use ethanol produced organically, or without a harm to the environment that will replace fossil fuel as a source of fuel for automobiles.
Research for these solutions: Solution A: For brainstorming ideas for this invention, we used countless sources of information from websites dealing with the thermodynamics of wind, wind turbines, the sufficiency of wind turbines, and even information from our mentor. Thus, it is really hard to come up with a website that will represent all the research we have done. However, we will provide problems and solutions that we have for this solution as this was our favorite solution.
Solution A Cont’d Problems encountered while inventing our wind turbine: Believe it or not, inventing a sufficient wind turbine is rather hard. We felt that all we needed to do was mount a wind turbine on top of the car and transfer the energy that is produced into the car’s battery cells. However, talking to our instructor, Mr. Adams, we noticed multiple problems of our assumption. First off, the wind turbine could not be placed on top of the car because of bridges and tunnels that would limit the passage of the car. Second, by having a wind turbine on the same place in every car, it would create problems for a second car that also has a wind turbine. An example can be of when car A is traveling and car B is tailgating. By having the wind turbine of car B so close to that of car A, the wind turbulence that is left by the turbine of car A would interfere with car B. Thus making the energy received insufficient for car B. Lastly, the question was of what kind of wind turbine we would place on the car. Would it have 5 blades? Or even one?
Solution A Cont’d Solutions to the problems that we encountered: To the first and second problem that we encountered, we agreed that the wind turbine would be located at the bottom of the car. By placing the turbine at the bottom of the car, it would not limit the height of the car and it would also provide more protection if the car collides. For example, the turbines would be placed where the grill of the car would be at a normal car. By placing the turbines there, and the electrical units and cells at the bottom of the car, when the car collides head on, the turbine would take the hit, not the engine, nor the person in the car. To the third question, because the turbines would be at the front of the car, the blades should be vertical to the ground and should only contain 3 blades. By allowing three blades and stacking them behind each other, the first blade would not create turbulence for the blade behind it, unlike a turbine with five or six blades.
Solution B Solution B: Often in our dreams, hydrogen cars have been an idea that we never thought would become a reality. Now, it is nearly here. Our main source of research was in the website: This website provided so much information in helping us decide whether hydrogen powered cars will benefit the world. The website not only describes how hydrogen cars work, but also presents pictures and information of soon-to-be available automobiles. The designs and ideas that are present within these cars are the solutions that I propose.
Solution C: Solution C: This solution was presented to me in my tenth grade chemistry class and it has caught my attention ever since. My teacher presented to the class the benefits of using ethanol as a source of fuel. The two websties provided, show how ethanol would be produced and how it can be used as fuel for automobiles. The two links are: jpg jpg Not only is there a way to produce ethanol, but the production of ethanol in this specific way not only benefits the automobile industry, but also benefits the atmosphere. The corn that is used not only feeds cows, but is used as a source of energy for the production of ethanol. I feel that if turbines result in failure, ethanol should replace fossil fuel.
Solution in which we will confer with the mentor: Solution A. Wind turbines have been existent to grind grain in Persia as early as 200 B.C. As time progressed, the effect of wind turbines on the world greatly increased. During the 1900’s, 2500 windmills were used as mechanical pumps in Denmark! Observing this great transition, it is evident that something so ordinary can be used as an energy source for virtually everything, from grinding grains to powering mechanical pumps. Despite the fact that this great technology has such a great impact on virtually everything, the science behind this technology is very simple. Rotating on an axis, the blades of the wind turbine turns as wind passes through. The main law that deals with this concept is the law of thermodynamics. Presented below is a feedback from Zach, our mentor. Within this writing, Zach explains the concept of thermodynamics using a great analogy, and also presents to us some problems that we may encounter when making our project.
Response from mentor: “This is a question that can be answered with the Laws of Thermodynamics. The Laws of Thermodynamics are often jokingly referred to as if you were playing a poker game at a casino, but this description is also very powerful because it carries a sense of being the most accurate description without going into a lot of difficult math: Law Zero: You must play the game. Law One: You can’t win the game. Law Two: You can’t break even (you can’t win as much as you lose). Law Three: You can’t quit the game. Think of energy as money. So, if you want to propel a car with wind turbines, you can translate the most important laws into basic principles of design: Law Zero: You must follow the Laws of Thermodynamics. Law One: You will not get more energy than you put into the system. Law Two: You will not even get as much energy as you put into the system. (Law Three: in this case, this is the same as Law Zero) So what does this mean?
Response from mentor cont’d It means that if you want to run your car on wind energy, you have to collect that energy from something/somewhere else, or while the car is not moving, and then use that energy to move the car. When you do, you will lose some energy because the system is not perfectly efficient, but you will have moved energy from one place (for example, the wind) to another (for example, into the car’s batteries), and so you can ‘harvest’ energy from one source and move it to another. If you try to gather energy while a combustion engine is driving your car forward, you will not be converting energy from the wind. You will be converting energy that comes from the gasoline into forward motion, which generates movement of air over the surface of the car, which turns the turbine, so you will be converting gasoline into electrical energy. And since no system is 100% efficient, you will actually lose more energy from the gasoline that can drive your car than you can collect from your turbine.
Response from mentor cont’d So the secret is this: gather wind energy from a source other than gasoline. Only then can you make your car use less gasoline. Your idea is really good- using a vehicle as a mobile wind turbine. Here are some questions that will help us to explore how cool your idea is, and how this could really change people's views on what is possible: 1) Where does the wind blow most where you live? Think of everyday examples, the simpler the better! 2) If your car had a wind turbine that could charge your car by sitting in the wind, where would you park your car? How would you park it? Where would the wind flow fastest over your car? (You had very good intuition about this on a previous post about where wind goes by fastest while you are driving) 3) What are some advantages and disadvantages of having a wind turbine mounted on your car?” -- Zach
Solutions to problem one Answer to question 1: There can be two answers to this question. First, I would like to address the solution to this problem where the setting is of an urban area. In a urban area, with many skyscrapers and buildings, often times, there would not be such a strong wind because the buildings would block it. Thus, in a city, a car should be parked on the corner of the block, where there is a more likely chance for the car to feel the wind and recharge. However, in a rural setting, this problem would not really be addressed because if there is wind, the wind is surely likely to hit the blades. Despite these solutions, I feel that the main way in which the car can recharge itself is by the use of the wind when the car is in motion.
Solutions to problem two Answer to question 2: On the problem dealing with “where the wind flow is fastest,” We feel that the wind is the strongest and common at the top of the car. However, because mounting a wind turbine on top of the car greatly limits the car in regards to where to travel, we agreed to mount the wind turbine at the front of the car. Thus, to adapt to this new technology, I feel that the design of the entire car should be changed. The front grill should be extended and thus allow more wind to have an impact at the front of the car. Currently, many cars have a small front grill to allow more wind to flow upwards.
Solution to problem three Answer to question 3: Because this question was asked before, we decided to change the mounting of the wind turbine from the top of the car to the front of the car. We felt that by doing so, the car would not be limited in terms of driving under tunnels or bridges. Thus, this problem clearly has a solution.
Images of prototype: To show the drastic change of the effect of wind turbines on cars, there is the “before” and “after” effect of mounting a wind turbine on the car and the effect it has on the design of the car.
Effects on design on the car: “Before” :
Effects on design of the car: After:
In conclusion in regards on the design: By merely extending the grill in front of the car, it will be sufficient to turn the wind turbine and propel the car.
Behind the grill, turbines like these would be present: Much of the technology present within the turbine is common and all it needs is wind
How will it work? From the energy that is produced from using wind turbines, the energy will be transferred to a electric battery pack that will store the energy. A diagram is provided below:
About our mentor: Being a diesel mechanic for 5 years and an alternative energy source engineer, Mr. Adam not only can tell us how an automobile works, but also can tell us how a wind turbine can be mounted on to the car and how it can be connected on to the car to use the energy sufficiently. Currently working in the FAA in Washington D.C., Mr. Adams deals with aerospace engineering and this is obviously a job in which you must know how wind works. Trying to find the most amount of wind when a car travels, understanding aerospace engineering and getting help by Mr. Adams, we can tell where there would be a peak in wind flow on the car.
Questions and answers part 1: 1. Working at the FAA, what are your responsibilities and jobs that are required from you? --- My primary areas that I work with are reusable launch vehicles and environmental control systems for manned personal space flight. Our office grants permits and licenses to US businesses that want to launch, whether they're launching from the ocean, from islands in the Pacific, or from somewhere within the US. Because our office is relatively small, I cover many different aspects within these areas, from evaluating launch site operations (fueling, location of hazardous materials, etc.) to license and permit safety reviews (basically, does this rocket operate safely enough to protect the uninvolved public?).
Questions and answers part 2: 2. What does the FAA deal with? Do they produce new technologies or build new buildings or structures? --- The FAA mainly works with companies who are building new technologies for travel through the air and space, and then makes sure that these companies are operating safely. The FAA also makes sure that the laws that Congress and the president pass are carried out effectively. For example, everytime you fly in an airplane, you go through what's called the National Air Space, which means pilots need to know how to talk on the radio and use navigational technologies to find out where to go, how to fly, and how to avoid hitting people and things on the ground and in the air. The FAA installs and maintains a lot of the technology that makes flying on airplanes very safe, things like radar installations, radio communications towers, runways, things like that, much in the same way that your local government is responsible for installing and maintaining roads, traffic signs, and crosswalk lights that everyone uses for the public good. While the FAA does not develop these technologies (in the sense of inventing them), the FAA does apply new technologies to make sure that people who do and don't fly are safe, such as by upgrading and figuring out how to build the newest systems that pilots use to navigate above us.
Questions and answers part 3: 3. What do you like about your job? --- I love outer space things, and my personal belief is that private space flight is going to change the world. When Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic, it was like a light going off in peoples' heads: wow, we can fly over the water in a matter of hours! Within a few years, people like you and I could travel to foreign countries and learn about the world in a positive, meaningful way. I think it will be the same with space, because space has limitless supplies of energy (from the sun) and resources (from asteroids) which, if we learn to use wisely, will allow us to be responsible citizens of the planet and keep us from destroying the ecosystem. For my job, I like that I get to figure out some of these really tough problems concerning how people can travel safely into space without being NASA astronauts. Basic questions like 'What air will they breathe, and how? How will the pilots know which way to go? What happens if there's an emergency during flight?' These are the simple questions that will shape how people like you and me can get in to space.
Questions and answers part 4: What part of your job deals with wind turbines? I have to answer this in two parts because wind turbines have two main uses. The first use is to generate power from the wind. I had a summer job in Alaska that dealt with wind turbines all the time, at the Alaska Energy Authority. For wind turbines, it's very important to know where the wind blows, and how fast it blows, because you can design your electrical generation system effectively if you know these things. My work involved setting up towers that measured the wind for a year or so, then I processed the data into a big map that shows where and how fast the wind blows. I also did a lot of work for establishing a base on Mars that is powered using wind power, because believe it or not, the wind blows on Mars!
Questions and answers part 4 cont’d: Wind turbines, however, can have two possible uses: to generate power from the wind (like the turbines you're talking about installing on your car), or that inject power into the wind (like the turbines that you find on jets and other aircraft). The principles of operation are very similar, it's just a question of whether the power goes into, or is taken out of, the wind. So I also work with wind turbines sometimes here around the office for launch vehicles that want to operate like an airplane for landing and take-off, but act like a rocket to leave the atmosphere and go into space. Here is a link to an example of this that one company has put together to promote their way of getting into space- you'll see the transition from aircraft (wind-turbine- powered) to space craft (rocket-powered) modes of propulsion.
Who can help us? Renewal energy technician: Technicians like these are surfacing all around the world. To accompany the growing demand for renewable energies, technicians who specializes in developing an alternative fuel source will aid in the development of this technology. Not only must these technicians know about electrical work, but must know about conserving the environment. Mechanical engineer: Engineers are who apply science and mathematics to develop economical solutions to daily problems. In the development of our technology, a mechanical engineer should be present in order to transfer the energy from the wind to the battery cell located at the back of the car without losing any energy.
Who else? Automotive engineers: Automotive engineers are those who not only develop a body for the car, but must also accompany the technology that must be present within the vehicle. Automotive engineers are very crucial in the development of this project because not only must they invent a design that will provide sufficient area for the wind to come through, but must also make the car aesthetically pleasing for the consumers.
Feedback from students: After receiving feedback from students who saw the presentation, it was evident that most of the students had two similar questions in mind. One of the main questions that were presented was if wind turbines will prove to be sufficient in proving enough energy to propel the car. Most even suggested that automobiles not only have wind turbines attached to them, but also other sources of energy like solar cells and ethanol fuel. Another feedback that I received was the questioning of the cost of the technology used. Many wondered if the add-on of a wind turbine would greatly increase the cost of automobiles. All in all, the students felt that the solution presented was great and had high hopes of seeing wind turbines on cars in the near future.
Lessons Learned: After receiving feedback, it became evident that our project was not perfect and that there were flaws in our project. Many of these flaws were centered on the realistic side of the project. Many questioned the cost, safety, and even efficiency of the presented solution. Also, on regards to the presentation, we learned that in the PowerPoint, there should have been more pictures to capture the attention of the students. Also, long paragraphs in the slides made the students bored and this problem was also stated in our mentor, Zach’s, feedback.