|29||Solar Water Filtration and Vending System
|Most rural areas don’t have a consistent source of water, forcing people to walk long distances to get it. One of our member’s non-profit organization (Solar Chapter) recently built a solar pumping system, which solves this problem. However, this water requires further treatment to be drinkable. To address this problem, we’ve decided to build a solar distillation system.
Solar panels will charge a lead acid battery (affordable), which will power the vending system. A charge controller will be required to obtain the desired output from a fluctuating input. Additional sun tracking system using photoresistor may be implemented to improve performance. We will then implement a water filtration system. Water will flow in through solar distillation to improve the water clarity and clean the water to high degree of purity. Then water will flow to another tank with purify layers of fibre membrane, active charcoal, and sand. For monitor our machine, Using an ultrasonic sensor, we will determine the amount of water within the storage and distillation tanks. This will be connected to sluice gates and the distillation setup, serving as a control system. The water quality will also be monitored using pH and Turbidity sensors, which will help evaluate the system’s performance. We will then implement a vending system, which disposes a fixed amount of water for money - this will also utilize sluice gates. As a reach goal, we will consider ways to transmit this sensor data to provide for remote monitoring, enabling maintenance.
In our conversations with course staff, we were informed that this project was sufficiently complex. In fact, this is a subset of our original plan to develop a full filtration, monitoring and vending system. We are willing to adjust our goals to achieve adequate complexity - for instance, including the data transmission as an expectation as opposed to a reach goal if required. As socially-conscious engineering students, we intend to put a version of our final product into active use in rural Indonesia and similar environments.