Construction of a fully automated Solar House

1.1 Engineering Problem 

Engineering Problems:

1) Non renewable sources of energy overused leading to high levels of pollution in the environment.(Wikipedia, 2013)

2) Electricity bills too high for poor and needy families.

1.2 Engineering Goals
Primary Goal:To build a fully automated solar house that will support more than 50% of the electrical supply.

Secondary Goal:To add in other forms of renewable enrgy producing systems into our fully automated green energy house.

1.3 Specific Requirements
1.Lighting Control-The lighting control system will be based on Arduino programming with the use of one or more control devices. It is widely used in terms of location. It can be used indoor and outdoor in a commercial, industrial and residential area. The purpose of this system is to provide the suitable amount of light at different locations and at different times. They are used to minimise unnecessary energy usage. Some industrial spaces use this to support green building and energy conversation programs. The light sensor can be programmed in many ways.The most common ones would be according to the time of the day or by sunrise and sunset. We are using a light dependent resistor to control the lighting system based on different light intensity ranges. For example,if the lux is below a certain level,the lamp will turn on. However, if the lux is above a certain level, the lamp will be dimmed or turned off. However, if the user has a choice to use the manual system.
Fig 14: Light Sensor
2.Green Aircon System- It uses thick sponge with water pumping through it to cool down the air passing through it using evaporation. It uses only a little bit of electricity when the valve releases the water to flow to the paper.

Fig 15: An artistic picture of a green aircon

3.Water Harvesting System-Water flows into the funnel during a rain and turns the turbine to generate electricity and the water can be used f or plants/paper air con/normal water usage (Filtered). Water harvesting is the collection and accumulation of rainwater for reuse for normal water uses such as bathing,watering and cleaning. It also can be pumped through a turbine that is connected to a generator to generate energy. This system acts as an alternative source of water during regional water restrictions or during droughts. When the water is collected,the water flows through a active carbon filter which reduces the salinity and the presence of iron salts in the collected water. Makes use of the natural surroundings to cope with the demand for drinkable water.
Reduces the chance of flooding,storms,landslides(because of erosion) and many other natural disasters.Relatively simple to install in households. Quality of water is better compared to surface water of water bodies.There have been a few modified models of the water harvesting system. One of them would be the RainSaucer which looks like an upside down umbrella. It collects rain from the sky. This prevents the rainwater from being contaminated.

Fig 16: Water Harvesting System Model(Virtual)

4.Solar Panel- The solar panels would be used to convert light energy from the sun and convert it to electrical energy. This would be our main source of energy. Solar energy is readily available and it is also quite powerful.
Fig 17: Picture of a Solar Panel

5.Lamp- Positioned at the centre of the house so that the whole room is lit up.
Fig 18: Picture of Lamp

6.Fan- Two computer fans placed in a plastic container which is fit through a hole in the house

Fig 19: Picture of computer fan used in cooling system
7.Acrylic Glass (cut into window proportions) - The window would be activated by a micro-servo. When, the air is too humid, past a certain degree, the windows would be opened. But if there is rain, then the windows would close and not let water enter the house.
Fig 20: Acrylic used for windows and door.

8.Sponge- The sponge is for the cooling system.
Fig 21: A Picture of sponge that we will be using in the cooling system

1.4 Alternative Solutions

1.4.1 Simple Solar Panel with Normal Power Supply.

Completely defeats the purpose of the use of solar panels and still consumes a lot of electricity.

1.4.2 Wind energy-not applicable for Singapore.

As suggested in the heading, wind speed in Singapore averages at 6km/h which is too slow to generate any energy to support electrical appliances.

1.4.3 Sound Energy from nearby traffic

Ineffective as roads nearby heavy traffic all the time so it is inefficient in supporting an electrical supply for a house.

1.4.4 Final Solution-Automated Solar House using Arduino Sensors.

Firstly, as it has an automated feature, the solar house is more user-friendly and has high convenience for the users. Moreover, the solar panel can generate 20W enough to power a lamp.(small scale)

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