This week we prepared for the community forum and presented our work to people who were eager to learn about problems regarding waste mitigation and hear about multiple solutions. We spent the week preparing our presentation as well as our interactive element so our presentation could be the most effective for the people we showed it too.
When the AVAU met up at the beginning of the week, we started to organize our data we had gathered previously. We separated our data into 3 charts. Two of them were pie charts, whose data we collected from the google form we sent out. The third was a regular chart, collected through research and our solution implementation. It was about how much our product saves in watts. All of this data we had found last week, (and stated in our blog) so this week we organized it into charts and added it to our poster along with a brief explanation.
Further into the week, we started preparing for the community forum. That included making sure we were all experts on our problem and solution. All of us studied the poster and diligently went through our notes and research in preparation. We made sure we could answer any question that came our way. Following that, we setup our interactive element. Our interactive element was a play off our product because we did not have the resources to show the original product in action during the forum. We took the cervo that originally took out a charger when the charger heated up and put it right behind an object on its side. That object just so happened to be the landing pad we sewed for the charger so when it fell out of the wall it wouldn’t break. The servo was connected to a hummingbird circuit board and the heat sensor just as in our original product. What was different was we had people put the heat sensor in their hand. This caused the servo to move and knock over the object, resembling the servo taking out the charger.
At the forum, this interactive experience was a success. During our presentations to different people we explained our problem of vampire appliances in a home. We gave them examples of these appliances and talked about what the term means. Then we, in detail we explained our solution to chargers sucking energy and showed a short video of our product unplugging the charger. We described the code we used to make the servo turn with heat and how we used tinker and to 3D print the product. They then participated in our interactive element and we explained our data from the google forms and implementing our solution.
One major thing we learned while presenting our CBL project was how to present scientific findings in an audience friendly way. At the beginning of the forum, our group presented by stating the facts of our problem and our solution. Through talking to a variety of people, we learned it was important to talk to the audience in a more casual, friendly way to get them more excited about our product. We also learned it is very important to engage our audience when talking and have as many people as we could participate in the interactive element. If the audience was not engaged, our solution tend not to make as big of an impact on them. It also was more effective when they could see it in action. When our group was more animated and engaged the audience, the impact on them was far greater.
Posted by Justine Ludden
This week we began to take data and put our device into our homes. We also did the final touches on our prototype and finished our code.
The end product is a 3D printed box, with a smaller box on the top of the side of it. On one side, there is a line of command strips, this side will be put on a wall. The wall with also have command strips on it. The command strips will keep the box in place, it is also not messy. On each side of the box, there are holes. These holes will allow cables through, therefore allowing the device to fit in the box. Inside the bigger box will have the circuit board in it. Connected to the circuit board is a heat sensor, a cable that will plug in to a computer, a power cable, and a servo. The servo goes in the smaller box. There are also prongs on the servo, allowing it to reach the charger.
The way it works is pretty simple. Once the device is turned on, it will wait until the heat sensor senses heat that is about 85ºF. Once this is done, it will wait 15-25 minutes. This will ensure that your device gets to 100%. Then, the servo will move 180º out. Pushing the charger out of the outlet. Then it will move back to its original position. The charger will be caught by a pillow or something that will not harm the charger.
We had lots of data for our device. First off, if you were to have your charger plugged into an outlet for the whole day, which most people do, then you would be wasting about 130 Watts. But with this device, it drops down to about 4 Watts. This is only if you charge your device once a day. 126 Watts might not seem like a lot, but if millions of people use this, then it will definitely add up to a lot more.
We also made a survey, sending out to our school. And we got over 130 responses in just a few days! Not only was this great for us, but it also showed how our device will make a difference. There were two questions, the first was, do you know how much energy you waste per year? And, would you consider using this device on a daily basis? For the first question, there were three options; about 72.7% of responses said no. 15.9% said yes, I’m actively conserving energy. And 11.4% said yes, I’m not doing anything to conserve energy. This showed us how that the majority of people, are unaware of how much they are wasting. Therefore, creating more waste. And of the people who did know, more are conserving. But the other 85% aren’t, and this is a big difference. Imagine if 100% conserved, we would not every have an energy problem again. The second question had two answers, yes and no. 77.3% said yes, and 22.7% said no. If 77.3% of people used this product, that it would greatly decrease the amount of energy waste.
Posted by Zachary
As we approach our last two weeks of CBL we had a huge change of course. As we got feedback from our peers we began to realize that our color changing chargers were deeply flawed. We modified our idea to match the feedback we received. It was all very helpful and lead us to begin prototyping our final solution.
We noticed that that there was no point in the chargers changing color if people were asleep or couldn’t see them change. Many well-trusted adults had concerns like “what if my charger or appliance is out of sight.” We reconvened and resolved our problems with the color changing charger. It does not directly unplug the charger so it depends on the buyer to unplug it. Based off this, we made the decision to create a device to unplug appliances instead of merely making the person aware it is not unplugged. We developed our idea to unplug the charger instead.
Our completely revised solution is a device that automatically unplugs an appliance. The vampire appliance is unplugged when the outlet gets to a certain temperature. This solution requires a special motor that only turns a specific, coded amount. The motor is connected to a special case that can hold the motor keeping it from falling off. The motor is also connected to a circuit board. When the coded amount of time is reached two prongs will turn pushing the charger away from the wall, unplugging the charger. I know what your thinking, “Wait wont this wake us up!?” To that we respond, we will also create a pad that will muffle the sound so you can sleep peacefully. There will be a landing pad at the bottom of the outlet plug so the block will not land on the ground and break. We have begun prototyping this.
Our solution will not only help your iPhones battery, it will save a huge amount of energy. In total, if you use this charger it will save up to 20-25 watts of energy for each device every night! For each house the amount saved will be 100-125 every night. In a year the amount saved will be up to 10000 watts. This will also make your battery life longer and more energy efficient. Anyways with our incredible energy saving charger you can not only help your device but you can also save a huge amount of energy
Posted by Michael Spector
During these last few days, radical steps have been made in implementing a solution and finalizing our problem. We settled on our problem of vampire appliances in households.
At the beginning of the week, we decided that vampire appliances would be our solution moving forward in CBL because we all want to make a difference in energy waste and this is where we thought we could do so. Last week, we narrowed it down to vampire appliances but hadn’t finalized our problem. This week, we are absolutely certain our problem is phantom energy or vampire appliances. We were also considering AC but after getting valuable feedback from our peers and teachers, we firmly decided on vampire appliances.
In addition, we started brainstorming solutions on how we want to fix/help vampire appliances. First, we thought the most efficient way to solve the energy waste these appliances make was with alternate energy. We wanted to create a product that reduces energy waste by creating a new energy source it could use instead. Solar panels was our main focus and we wanted to connect a solar panel to a power strip where vampire appliances were plugged in. Sooner or later, we realized creating a clean energy source for vampire appliances was not something we could accomplish.
What we realized was we could accomplish a way to encourage people to unplug the useless appliances. Our goal was to create an innovative way to get people to want and remember to unplug there energy sucking objects. After regrouping and changing our mindset, numerous valid solutions came to mind. One of the best solutions brought to the table was a heat sensitive case that is put on the charger block. When chargers are plugged in for an obscene amount of time, they begin to get hot because energy is consistently going through the charger. We would make a concoction that is heat sensitive so when your charger begins to overheat from the abundance of electricity, the case would go from a subtle color, to a much more radiant one. That would get the product user’s attention and let them know there charger is wasting energy, and they should unplug it. Our goal is to get people to be aware of their chargers and take out the vampire appliances when they have the chance.
This week we finalized our problem and have a solution we are beginning to develop. Overall, we completed many tasks profoundly and are ready for the next steps involving our solution. A solution to help eliminate energy from vampire appliances is coming soon. Be ready.
Posted by Justine Ludden
We have made lots of progress this week. Last week, we focused on household energy waste. Now, we’ve narrowed it down to vampire appliances. These are appliances that suck up lots of energy.
Earlier in the week, we did a variety of research on organizations that work on our problem. We were able to find an organization called LADWP and contact them regarding our problem and feedback related to that. We took the initiative of calling them and eventually, we had a constructive conversation with an employee, Jason. He was extremely helpful and gave us answers to questions that was crucial in making our next steps and finding the final problem.
We asked him if it was possible to hook a solar panel up to an outlet and found out that it wouldn’t work so we had to change our topic. After lots of discussion, we got to what household appliance uses the most energy. He said that air conditioners and refrigerators use a lot. He also said that vampire appliances can take up a lot of energy. He said that old appliances will use produce a lot of energy waste. He named some projects that they have done, like the Air Conditioning Optimization Program and the Refrigerator Exchange Program. We wanted to attach solar panel to a power strip through the electric panel outside of people’s homes. He told us that wasn’t possible and instead to focus on our other ideas. Jason then referenced us to an organization called Southern California Edison and exclaimed it was a good place to call for more accurate information.
We also found many reliable sources that gave us information about our problem. It made it clear vampire appliances is a serious issue someone needs to step in and solve it. One statistic that helped prove vampire appliances our a problem is that a TV box is the second most energy waster in a home. A TV box is an example of an vampire appliance because it is almost never unplugged from the wall. Most people who have TV’s don’t unplug the box every single time they turn off the TV. Also, National Geographic had an article about objects that waste energy. Chargers that are plugged in but not in use waste a vast amount of energy. It also devoted a section to kitchen appliances. They waste a lot of energy within a home. It sucks a lot of energy especially because it is always accessible and ready to be used.
We made a substantial amount of progress this week and have solid next steps in place. A well-thought out solution is in the making as we are trying to reduce energy waste.
Posted by Zachary