Human+ingenuity 05 report

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  • 1. 50 Excellent Personal Projects Designing and Building a Solar Powered Model Boat DesigningandBuildingaSolar PoweredModelBoat Samuel Freire MP5b Personal Project Ms. Rosca Pruna 1! ! International Baccalaureate Organization 2009
  • 2. 50 Excellent Personal ProjectsDesigning and Building a Solar Powered Model Boat Table of Contents 1. Introduction.................4 1.1 Research questions.............4 1.2 Previous solar powered boat projects and initiatives ....5 1.3 How this project relates to the Areas of Interaction..6 2. Background Research......7 2.1 How do solar panels work..7 2.2 Issues to consider when designing a solar powered boat...8 2.2.1 How and where will I find the information and materials?.......8 2.2.2 Choosing solar panels9 2.2.3 Choosing the motor9 2.2.4 Researching hull designs..10 3. The actual designing, building, testing and adaptations made to the model solar-powered boat....10 3.1 Designing the boat...10 3.2 Sequence of work.11 3.3 Series of pictures which illustrate the building stages.13 3.4 Testing and further adaptations made to the boat16 4. Analysis and evaluation.17 4.1 Choice of panels...17 4.2 Choice of motor...18 2! ! International Baccalaureate Organization 2009
  • 3. 50 Excellent Personal Projects Designing and Building a Solar Powered Model Boat 4.3 The design of the hull......18 4.4 Evaluating the boats performance ....18 4.5 Evaluating the boat appearance...19 5. Conclusions, recommendations and learning....20 5.1 Conclusions..20 5.2 Recommendations21 Bibliography..23 Appendix25 3! ! International Baccalaureate Organization 2009
  • 4. 50 Excellent Personal ProjectsDesigning and Building a Solar Powered Model Boat 1. Introduction Using solar energy to your own advantage is a very old concept and goes back millions of years. All life on earth depends on the sun in some way. Using sun energy to create electricity is also not such a new concept. Research on it began as early as 1839 when Alexandre Edmond Becquerel observed a photoelectric effect when an electrode in a solution of conductive liquid became charged when in sunlight1 . In this project I am going to explore the possibility of making a boat that is powered solely from the sun. I will then design and make a working model. It is generally thought that solar power is limited to sunny locations. However, contrary to what most people think, solar panels still can get energy if the sky is overcast but they do not absorb as much energy. Therefore, designing a solar powered boat for the use in The Netherlands is not that farfetched. Currently, there is huge amount of research going into solar power and many new technologies are being discovered. Over the past few years new flexible and light solar panels 2 have being invented and because of those it will be much easier to make a solar powered boat. I have absolutely no previous knowledge of solar power however I do know a fair bit about model boats. Therefore, I am hoping to build on my knowledge of model boats and learn more about using solar energy. Furthermore, by presenting my work I am also hoping to raise awareness in the school about possible alternative energies and the great potential that solar energy has. 1.1 Research questions The overall goal or intended outcome of this project is to make a model solar boat which gets its power from solar panels. Nevertheless, it will still have a battery as a backup in case the boat goes into shadow or if it needed to sail during the night. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 Timeline of solar cells. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_solar_cells, 3 October 2007. 2 !These!panels!are!manufactured!by!Powerfilm!Solar,!an!American!based!company!that!specializes!in!flexible!solar! panels.!!http://www.powerfilmsolar.com/!! 4! ! International Baccalaureate Organization 2009
  • 5. 50 Excellent Personal Projects Designing and Building a Solar Powered Model Boat The following questions guided my thinking during the initial stages of the project: 1. What are the advantages of solar powered boats? 2. How fast and reliable are solar powered boats? 3. What issues need to be considered when designing, making and testing a solar powered boat? 4. Is it possible to run a solar powered boat in The Netherlands, given the relative lack of sunshine here? These questions led to the following project objectives: 1. To research solar energy: a. How do solar panels work? b. How have solar panels been used in boats by others? 2. To design and build a working model solar powered boat. 3. To design and build an attractive boat. 4. To test the model solar powered boat at every stage of its construction: a. Does it float? b. Does it run? c. Can it run on sun alone? 5. To make recommendations for the design and construction of solar powered model boats. 1.2 Previous solar powered boat projects and initiatives After a bit of research I discovered that I was certainly not the first to have the idea of a solar powered boat. This was not surprising as there have been solar powered cars for quite some time. 5! ! International Baccalaureate Organization 2009
  • 6. 50 Excellent Personal ProjectsDesigning and Building a Solar Powered Model Boat In fact, in countries like Australia and the USA, many schools are incorporating into their curriculum making a model solar boat to help raise awareness about alternative energy sources. However the building of solar powered boat has only being done in a professional way with the introduction of the Frisian Solar Challenge 3 in the Netherlands which took place for the first time in 2006 and attracted participants from all over the world. The next of these races will be held in 2008. Another event, which took place in 2007, was the first crossing of the Atlantic on a solar powered boat. The boat was Sun21 4 and had a crew of six. It took them almost 6 months to do it having an average speed of 9km/h . As they were also charging the batteries, it could drive during the night . Again in 2007, a solar speed boat which was based on the boat which won the Frisian Solar Challenge was made by Czeer Solar and funded by the province Friesland, Senter Novem and Rabobank. It could achieve 55 km/h - an amazing speed. All of these initiatives were life-sized boats. I was focusing on model boats. 1.3 How this project relates to the Areas of Interaction This project addresses four of the five Areas of Interaction that are the base of the teaching and learning in the Middles Years Program. First is human ingenuity, man the maker. I will be designing and making something relatively new and innovative. It also has many advantages. The one great advantage of a solar powered boat over other sources of energy is that its fuel is unlimited, its free and clean. Once you have invested in the panels, you have no more fuel costs. Solar panels typically last twenty years. As the boat is solar powered, the energy comes straight from the sun and not from fossil fuels or from a battery which has being charged from electricity acquired from a coal power plant. This links the project to another area of interaction, environment. In the discussion of solar power versus other sources of energy typically used for boats, solar power does not damage the environment so