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2009 Engineering IPC Project Abstracts

Electric Motorcycle Power and Battery Management via Microprocessor-based Circuitry

Presenters: Matthew Ayre, Amy Bowie, Brice Farrell, Paul Gustafson

Advisor: Dr. Don Pratt

Sponsor: The Collaboratory Transportation Group

Using a microprocessor and additional circuitry, our team designed a system to monitor a new Lithium-Ion battery pack and developed an original algorithm to control the drive motor for an electric motorcycle. The custom microprocessor-based system is the main step in an upgrade to an in-hub brushless DC motor and a higher voltage power source. This, along with a lightweight Kevlar battery cradle, will increase the efficiency and improve the handling of the motorcycle.


Uniform Tricycle Frame Redesign

Presenters: Andrew Betteridge, Brant Copen, Jonathan Hollinger

Advisors: Dr. Tim Van Dyke, Mr. John Meyer

Sponsor: The Collaboratory Disability Resources Group

Client: Handicapés en Avant

The team redesigned the tricycle frames currently manufactured in Burkina Faso. They utilized finite element analysis to compare possible frame redesigns and chose one in which the rear wheels are cantilevered, greatly reducing the frame weight. This utilizes an innovative design for the wheel support requiring additional analysis and testing. The design features more user-friendly elements, including an adjustable reclined seat, easy battery access, and interchangeability for either hand or electric power.


Brushless DC Motor Rear Wheel Hub Integration

Presenters: Peter Shenk, Timothy Stocker, Joshua Zimmerman

Advisor: Dr. Don Pratt

Sponsor: The Collaboratory Transportation Group

More efficient ways of transportation are needed for the future. The goal of our project was to integrate a highly efficient electric motor into the rear hub of a motorcycle and test it to ensure all specifications were met. Mounting a motor in a motorcycle hub requires precision machining and balancing. Custom plates and adapters were carefully made to insure that the motor would work properly.


Disabilities Resources Electric Tricycle Brake System Redesign

Presenters: Levi Mattas, Charity Oresic

Advisors: Dr. Tim Van Dyke, Mr. John Meyer

Sponsor: The Collaboratory Disability Resources Group

Client: Handicapés en Avant

Due to their lack of strength to apply brakes, riders of the electric trike rely solely on the automated braking system. The current braking system has an unreasonable stopping distance which creates a safety issue. Focusing on three braking variables — the force, the braking surface area, and mechanical application type — we researched and then tested a number of possible solutions. From this work, we determined an effective braking solution.


Biodiesel: Methanol Recovery Project

Presenter: Jacob Munson

Advisors: Prof. Carl Erikson, Mr. Stephen Frank

Sponsor: The Collaboratory Energy Group

This project aims to make biodiesel production more sustainable and economically viable by recovering unused methanol from waste glycerin. We constructed a reflux column still to boil off, then condense, methanol from waste glycerol. Purity of the recovered methanol is critical to its reuse in biodiesel production. The remaining glycerin was tested as a fire starter and soap product. Further research and experiments will create a methodology to recovering methanol and its recycling.


Solar Scholars

Presenters: Dean Eastlake, Andrew Spotts

Advisors: Prof. Carl Erikson, Mr. Stephen Frank

Sponsor: The Sustainable Energy Fund

Clients: The Collaboratory Energy Group, The Oakes Museum

The Solar Scholars Project aims to educate Messiah College students and the community about solar energy. Our main facility, the Clifford L. Jones Solar Scholars Pavilion, consists of two solar electric systems which demonstrate grid-tied battery-based and battery-free technologies. We also constructed a solar demonstration cart which can be used to teach the basic concepts of solar electricity. We will explore how these ideas developed into the design and implementation of our systems and our plans for the future.


Systematic Hand Pump Testing

Presenter: Elizabeth Komline

Advisors: Mr. Joseph Longenecker, Dr. Timothy Whitmoyer

Sponsor: The Collaboratory Water Group

Client: Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization (ECHO)

The Water Group has developed a hand pump that can be used by anyone regardless of physical ability. Iterative design changes have reduced material costs and improved accuracy of manufacture. The team has measured the pump’s performance characteristics and compared them with widely used hand pumps. A construction manual has been produced to allow the pump to be manufactured by our partners and used on a daily basis to produce a wider range of durability data.


Village Water Ozonization System (VWOS)

Presenters: Daniel Barlow, William Bellows

Advisors: Prof. Ariela O. Vader, Dr. Timothy Whitmoyer

Sponsors: The Collaboratory Water Group, Ray Diener Memorial Water Fund

The goal of the Village Water Ozonization System (VWOS) Project is to develop and implement a simple small-scale water purification system to meet the needs of partnering Honduran communities. The process uses standard filtration technology and UV-generated ozone to reduce sediment and eliminate harmful microbes. The presentation will include an overview of the final system and processes, discuss water quality and production tests, and describe potential optimization of system operation.


Mali Water and Disabilities Project: Water Transport

Presenter: James Davis

Advisor: Dr. Barbara Ressler

Sponsor: Conrad Hilton Foundation

Client: World Vision International

The Water Transport sub team of the Mali Water and Disabilities Project seeks to adapt existing transport methods for those with physical limitations as well as assist with improving water use around the home. We are working on the implementation of solutions that can be made locally, are of low cost, durable, and most importantly, useful for those with a wide variety of physical limitations. Implementations include bucket tippers for transfer of water and baskets for lifting jerry cans.


Disability Resources Electric Tricycle Wheel Modification

Presenters: Nick Horst, Clement Miller

Advisors: Dr. Tim Van Dyke, Mr. John Meyer

Sponsor: The Collaboratory Disability Resources Group

Client: Handicapés en Avant

The wheels on the electric tricycle are buckling due to lateral loads they experience resulting from additional weight as they traverse uneven terrain and make sharp turns. To determine the critical component, we tested wheels with various components and construction techniques and found that rim strength was the most significant factor. Our solution to increase rim strength by welding an additional rim to the wheel has been proven effective through testing and simulated field trials.


The Thermosyphon Design Project

Presenters: Trevor Book, Reid Hoffman, Kawila Miller

Advisors: Prof. Carl Erikson, Mr. Stephen Frank

Sponsor: The Collaboratory Energy Group

Client: Theological College of Zimbabwe

The Thermosyphon team is working to meet a need for low-cost hot water at the Theological College of Zimbabwe (TCZ). Our project team seeks to implement thermosyphon or other solar water heating technologies to meet this need. The project has adapted to changing conditions in Zimbabwe, including a recent and severe economic downturn. We will look at the changes that have taken place and the solutions we have chosen for TCZ’s current situation.


Light Sport Aircraft Belt Reduction Drive

Presenters: Timothy Bourgeois, Nathan Cross, Benjamin Horst

Advisor: Dr. Don Pratt

Sponsor: The Collaboratory Transportation Group

Since 2006 the Collaboratory Transportation Group has been working with the flying club to develop a light sport aircraft for use on the mission field. Our project was to design and build a belt-drive system which transfers power from the engine to the propeller. The system uses pulleys, a support shaft, and a belt to set the proper speed reduction ratio allowing the engine and propeller to operate at their optimum speeds.


To download these abstracts in a printable format please see the project descriptions insert available from the School of Mathematics, Engineering, and Business.


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