Amanda Adkins, Alex Bell, Abigail Cervelloni, Thomas Cieslewski, and Benjamin Smith
Very few people in Latin America have constant access to an adequate water supply. To address this crisis, our project - sponsored by the AVINA Foundation - was to provide construction guides for water distribution systems that the local communities can implement to ensure sufficient water supply for the town. We contacted experts and conducted extensive research into different components of water distribution systems in an effort to understand the elements of the needed construction guides. We also created a simple questionnaire to help design customized construction guides for an appropriate water distribution system for each area so that, in the future, this project can affect all regions in need, regardless of geographical diversity. The basic construction guides and questionnaire have been sent to Paula Burt, Program Coordinator at the AVINA Foundation. Improved water distribution systems would cause many social benefits such as an enhanced quality of living, fewer health issues, and the security of a critical resource. Since local residents will be construction these systems themselves, there will be a stronger sense of self-sufficiency as they will be able to perform maintenance and build more systems on their own.
Tint Yadana Aung, William Hunt, Trevor Rocks, Zuhir Sras, and Christian Zelaya
As part of an effort to improve access to health services and education in Sierra Leone, Zion Ministries has partnered with Seven Hills Global Outreach (SHGO) in order to create a centralized campus for the purpose of providing maternal and infant health services, a nutrition center, a well, a primary school and a community meeting space for a population of over 13,000 people. Currently, there is not a sustainable way to charge mobile electronics on this campus. NewBorn Solutions has researched the systems most commonly employed for mobile device charging in rural Africa, with the goal of providing recommendations to Zion Ministries outlining a sustainable and cost-effective charging strategy. One device stands out as the most promising solution: the ReadySet Solar Kit, a simple, reliable and low-cost solar charging product produced by Fenix International. Working with Seven Hills, NewBorn Solutions has developed a set of guidelines for installation, maintenance and use of the Readyset system on campus. If this pilot implementation is a success, it can serve as a model for future implementation in other regions of Sierra Leone and elsewhere in Africa.
Poster Presentation, Judges Award (2012)
Philipp Baumann, Nathan Curtis, Dan Sanderson, and Victor Vazquez
Many rural communities in Paraguay are disadvantaged by their inability to access safe drinking water. The drinking water is often purified by inefficient means. Therefore, a new method of cheaply and efficiently filtering water is vital to the long term health of the communities. We were able to focus our research into a few key areas. First was the removal of bacteria and coliforms from the water. The communities are able to sanitize the water; however, a new system based on less harsh methods is a major objective of the project. Another main concern is the suspected presence of iron in the water. The community water boards believe that iron is causing health problems. Unfortunately, we were unable to confirm the presence of iron, making it difficult to make any final recommendation. However, it is possible to provide the relevant research and request that a series of tests be done.
Catherine Bonner, William Edor, Despoina Giapoudzi, and Kelsey Ouellette
The purpose of this project was to find a permanent solution for controlling parrot infestations that damage corn crops at the San Francisco Agricultural High School in Paraguay. The school is unable to grow corn to feed its livestock because Nanday Parakeets consume or damage virtually the entire crop. Our team researched and developed a range of cost-effective, environmentally-friendly strategies to combat the parrots, and presented them to a representative of the school. This year, this school will be conducting two corn trials based on our recommendations: one using a helikite, another using grocery bag covers. If our solutions are successful and corn crops are saved from parrot infestations, the school should be able to provide livestock feed and could thus allocate additional funds to the students’ needs. If proven effective, our proposed solution could serve as a model for other small farmers in the region who could protect their corn crops as well.
Jaclyn Bouvier, Connor Flanagan, Samuel Flibbert, Nicholas Potvin, and Potvin Olson
In the low-income communities of Paraguay, the well systems are not properly designed and many of the water pumps are breaking. The problem comes with removing the water pumps from one hundred and eighty meter deep wells. The current system of removal is highly inefficient, as well as expensive for the community as a whole. As we assessed the problem we took into consideration the conditions that we would be working with, including the elementary educations of the people of Paraguay. It became clear that an important goal of this project would be to allow the people of Paraguay to become more self sufficient and less dependent on outside help. We worked closely with Paula Burt of the AVINA Foundation at developing the most useful and efficient system of well pump removal. We decided upon a crane system that will be independently standing and will have the ability to be transported on a trailer pulled by a pickup truck. Overall, we are confident that our design will help improve the quality of life for the people of Paraguay.
Deanna Clark, Nyoca Davis, Iordanis Kesisglou, Foster Lee, and Ray Wang
The San Francisco Agricultural School in the Chaco region of Paraguay is a boarding school that is looking to reduce its current expenses on a steam boiler. Currently, the boiler is fueled by costly wood, which is becoming a financial burden for the school. Our objective is to relieve the economic and environmental burden of wood burning by creating a concept design of a boiler system that uses an alternative energy source. A system using a liquid fuel burner powered by biodiesel would be a solution that meets and even exceeds the school’s standard for cost-effectiveness and sustainability. To implement this idea, we have put together a manual with illustrations and simple instruction translated to Spanish so that even someone with little to no technical experience or knowledge could adopt, operate and maintain the biodiesel-powered heating system at the School.
Andrew Davis, Gregory Tighe, Carson Wolf, and Ethan Bryand
Suburbia, though attractive, has an utter lack of sustainability. Isolation from urban areas increases cost for transportation and waste management, while single-family dwellings are inefficient in terms of energy and water consumption. The majority of these problems stem from a low population density. Our proposal is to move suburbia into the city in the form of a skyscraper. This will increase population density and make the problems of waste management and energy efficiency much easier to handle. The Skyburbia project is a sustainable step forward that captures the feel of suburbia in a high-rise residential building.
Peter Fernandez, Kyle Fortin, Colin Rose, Cody Slater, and Anthony Ward
The San Francisco Agricultural School in Cerrito, Paraguay has had a Scheffler Reflector installed on campus for nearly five years. This is a simple yet effective solar dish that focuses the sun’s rays onto a pot to boil water. In this time the system has been unable to focus sunlight effectively and, as a result, has gone into disuse. Through extensive research and experiments, we deduced the problem and created a solution that will allow the reflected sunlight to stay focused throughout the daylight hours. With our solution in place the school will have an effective alternative to burning precious natural resources. The Scheffler Reflector at the San Francisco Agricultural School is hoped to serve as inspiration for others in the area to introduce alternative energies as a way to reduce the demand for wood fuel.
Chas Frick, Zhuohao Ling, John Norton, Nicholas Picard, and Will Spurgeon
In order to combat the low collection rates, we analyzed collection programs already in place and found the parts of the programs that worked the best. From this and a survey of WPI’s students, we developed several recommendations to increase collection. We also developed an iPhone app to enable users to find e-waste collection boxes on campus or to locate recycling centers in their area. The overall goal is to increase collection rates and secure the required precious materials for electronics production.
Nathan George, Rachel Kennedy, Rita Newman, Adriana Reyes, and Jennifer Wallace
- Design low-cost add-on room for the beekeeping center in the San Francisco Agricultural School in Paraguay out of plastic bottles.
- Create an instruction manual in English and Spanish.
Ben Greenbaum, Reed Gontarek, Patrick Plenefisch, John Price, and Anthony J. Ruffa
Jake Zizmore, Morgan Hopeman, Sean Amos, Stephanie Rivard, and Thomas Grimshaw
In today’s society there is a global push to become more sustainable. A major focus in this pursuit is to increase green energy. Wind power is one of these underutilized solutions, offering unlimited power with little cost to the environment. However, concurrent wind power comes with major problems, namely turbine inefficiency. This project focused on designing a tubercle array on the leading edge of turbine blades to maximize efficiency. In order to test which design maximized efficiency, we used a base CAD model to which different tubercle designs were added. These were then tested in a simulation software called Solidworks Flow to determine the increased efficiency.