Elijah Gemmell (Grade 8)
For the FLL tournament there is more than just robot games. There is also a project component that we are privileged enough to wok on. This year the FLL project topic is Hydrodynamics: we were expected to find a problem with the water consumption cycle in urbanized areas and propose a solution.
So for our project we decided to solve the problem of wasting water when you turn on the tap and the wrong temperature of water comes out. Normally, one must wait until the desired temperature is ready, and this wastes water. We found out that there are some solutions already, including custom water conservation systems in houses and instantaneous water heaters. Unfortunately, custom systems are hard to come by, people have to design their own. Instant water heaters can be quite expensive, costing as much as $6,000. Besides the high expense, it can also be faulty and do not have a very long life cycle. So a new solution to the problem is necessary.
We decided that we wanted to build a system that would conserve water by making sure that the exact desired temperature of water (dictated by the tap) comes out. We went about doing this by creating a circulation system that sends water that had already been in the pipes (prior to you turning on the tap) through the heater to be reused (as shown in the diagram below). In our system, when you turn on the tap looking for hot water, no water comes out initially. The cold water in the pipes gets recycled back into the water heater until the desired water temperature is reached. At this point the temperature sensor sends an electrical signal to the diverter valve diverting the now hot water up through the pipe and out the faucet.
To be clear, the point of this system is not to get water fast, but to conserve water. It is not recommended to implement into old buildings because to rip off walls and existing pipes would be a costly operation. This is suitable to new building constructions of single detached homes or decentralized water heater systems. The pump system is at the heater, while the temperature system is right at the valves under the sinks.
We will be working this month on the prototype of our solution, small enough to bring to Estonia.
About our team:
We are FIRST LEGO League Team # 33968, a.k.a. Forces of Atlantis, from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We will be representing Canada at the FLL Open International Event in June 2018 in Tallinn, Estonia with over 100 teams from all over the world!
Norma Rose Point Elementary School (Vancouver School Board)