Mechanical 6 - EPA Sustainable Kitchen Technologies
Student Team: Kathryn Neal, George Ross, Krista Beyer, Paige Lawrence
Advisor: Tait Carroll
Sponsoring Organization: EPA
The CEDE - Civil Engineering Department is requiring a proposal from the group of student engineers to provide comprehensive engineering efforts related to the development of sustainable technologies that will improve air and water quality in Zambian homes. Engineering activities will include elements of civil, electrical and mechanical engineering. The student team is expected to research existing literature and compare design alternatives so that effectiveness, cost, manufacturability, appropriateness of technologies, and overall compatibility with the project goals can be used to select the most desirable solutions.
Development and testing prototypes of cooking stoves incoporating thermalelectric power generation and water filters. Prototypes are to be produced in Zambia to enhance sustainable improvements in Zambian homes.
Tasks will include, but are not limited to the following:
1. Stove Design: Improve the existing stove design to ensure a pot placed on the stove heats quickly, has a stable surface on which to rest, and that the stove can accommodate a variety of pot sizes. The project team should initially look into the support screws or change the design such that it more closely resembles the braziers currently used by the community. Alternatively, the project team could look to a design that provides a burner such that a pot is placed directly on a heated surface.
2. Charging components: Improve upon existing charging system design such that the device is able to seamlessly provide charging for multiple devices including mobile phones, batteries, radios, lights etc.. The team will need to investigate the range of voltages and a way to adjust the voltage output of the TEG cell.
3. Stove materials and value engineering: Investigate alternative materials to be used in the stove manufacture including low-strength concrete and clay. The materials used should be easily obtained in the Zambezi area, leading to an ease of manufacturing, a sustainable product, and lowered cost. The project team should endeavor to make the rocket stove and charging components modular and determine if the design is better served by locating the TEG on the pot itself rather than the stove.
4. Water Filters: Develop and test performance of a porous, inverted bowl-shaped water filters made out of pervious concrete. Modify the existing mold to construct and determine the efficacy of the pervious concrete filters.
5. Business development and implementation: Work with the wider group membership and Zambian partners to organize an on-the-ground effort in summer of 2014 to provide a culturally-appropriate training and education program for local workers, and to produce several stove and water filter prototypes in-country using only locally available labor, materials and tools.
Project Management and Communication Expectations:
The project will also require the implementation of project management techniques in the completion of the engineering efforts, including interaction with the EPA as the project sponsor, liaisons, project advisors, monitoring efforts and progress, updating the project schedule preparing status reports, gathering information required for design in Zambia and from appropriate regulatory agencies.
The project will produce a conference or journal publication and a final report to submit to the sponsor.