# Title Team Members TA Documents Sponsor
59 Dynamic Ferrofluid Lamp
Chen Huang
Chong Lu
Luke Wendt design_document0.pdf
Chen Huang chuan102
Chong Lu chonglu2

My partner and I would like to take on the challenge left over by group 32 of last semester in building a lava lamp with ferrofluid replacing wax and heaters.

Like group 32 of last semester, we would like to use a stronger permanent magnets controlled by a servo to manipulate the main up and down motion of the ferrofluid. Expanding upon their previous work, we would like to develop a way of controlling the distance the permanent magnets are pushed and pulled along the chamber to increase the degree of control the low power consuming permanent magnets have on the ferrofluid. We might scrap the idea of controlling these magnets with electromagnets and use servos instead for more precise manipulation.

Also, we would like to add an array of electromagnets that directly interact with the ferrofluid, giving us even more means of manipulating the display. And in the case of us using servos to manipulate all the permanent magnets, this array of electromagnets will provide us with the ability to produce much faster changes to the magnetic field. Due to possible power restrictions, these electromagnets can be relatively weaker and produce more subtle manipulations on the ferrofluid. Since the main motion of our ferrofluid lamp will be up and down, controlled by the permanent magnet on the top of the lamp, it will not be necessary for all electromagnets to be powered at the same time.

The basic construction of the lamp will be two concentric cylinder containers, with the outer compartment holding ferrofluid and the suspension fluid, and the inner container holding electromagnets and possibly permanent magnets. We would also like to experiment with the effects of electromagnets on the outer casing of the lamp. These electromagnets would have to be relatively weak due to physical space restrictions in the location they are placed. However, we would like to experiment with the degree of manipulation and possible display effects this configuration can provide.

The electromagnets will be arranged such that the magnetic field is perpendicular to the central cylinder axis and forms a grid of electromagnets on the surface of the center cylinder. We would like to experiment with arranging the electromagnets in a Halbach array to increase the magnetic field on one side of the array. We believe this may enable us to produce stronger magnetic fields using electromagnets with lower current draw.

The aim of the project is not to make high resolution display, but to create an artistic art piece that can manipulate ferrofluid in a relatively controlled to create a wide range of display patterns.

Idea Link:
Last Semester Group 32 Link:

Growing Degree Day Monitor

Anthony De Roo, John Habegger, Jay Zhaoyu Yao

Featured Project

The purpose is to create an inexpensive growing degree day monitor that records temperature and computes growing degree days for a specific farming field during a growing season. This monitor will be placed near a farm field where it will monitor temperature conditions during the growing season. It will record both the ambient air and soil temperatures over the course of day. These temperatures will then be used to calculate the growing degree days. The cumulative number of degree days will then be displayed on either a seven-segment display or this can be downloaded to a computer. This monitor will be powered through a combination of both solar and battery power.