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Project Ideas

bionic bird project for engineers

Bionic Bird Project for Engineering Students

Hello friends, your Engineer buddy, have brought you a new project idea for your engineering projects. Today’s idea is world’s first furtive civilian drone. It’s a bionic bird.

The unique characteristic of this bionic bird is that it flies not with the rotating wings like in helicopter drones but uses its wings like a bird in up and down motion to fly. The most interesting is it can fly in a group of the real bird without even making them realize that it’s unreal. This bionic bird like drone is shown attracting other bird and predators.

Following is the demonstration:-

 Construction and working

The bird’s body is constructed with high quality wear resistance foam. The wings are made of the carbon fibres for weight reduction and increased durability. It is incorporated with a Bluetooth 4.0 for communication via smartphone. Soon it would be controlled with an android application too.

There is an on board battery which allows it fly for around 8 to 10 minutes and took 12 min to charge with the egg shaped charger. Presently it does not have too much practical applications but later version would have improvements such as inbuilt HD camera with live streaming, control with a wrist band, and hovering ability like a humming bird. This drone can be operated within a range of 100 meters.

Following is the video showing its internal gear system. The video represented  rotatory motion conversion to reciprocatory motion in  bionic bird.

It is sort of a good toy to play around for some time.

Hope you liked this article and you really loved the concept than don’t forget to share with your friends and amaze them with the bot.

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 We are always fascinated with the objects that fly in sky. We have the intrinsic desire to fly like a bird, hovhendo hoveboard, magnetic levitationer like a bug and love adventure related to sky. The researchers have created a hover board which is a combination of a skate board and hover craft. It levitates above ground. A Japanese technology team also demonstrated ultrasonic levitation working in three dimensions.

This is the technology which you normally would see in the science-fiction movies. With this technology, hovering car and trains could revolutionize the world and add a new way to transportation. They called the hoverboard a hendo, a special skateboard. The nonferrous material let Hendo to hover and is conductive in nature. We all know magnetism from childhood that like poles attracts and unlike repels. It is the old known concept behind the technology.

The board has disc shaped motors acting as four engines that create a magnetic field which react with the non-ferrous conductive material producing the secondary magnetic fields. Each field repels the other, allowing the board to hover above the ground. The hovercraft uses magnetic field architecture and only reacts to certain materials such as copper and aluminum. The blue light adds to the aesthetics. The working of the Hendo is quieter. Tough part while making the project was with the balancing, described by Earns haw’s theorem. The theorem state: that it’s utterly tough to balance magnets when they are repelling.

The magnetic hovercraft was restricted in a track for equilibrium. The device is capable of weighing upto 136 kg hovering few cm. above the ground. The Hendo only float above the ground or park made for hovercraft. It cannot float above the water. They are working to get some more advancement with the major goal to levitate the house. Presently 50,000 kilogram train is already running on track like the hover train, Levi train. The cost of such board is $10,000.

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We humans have got success in inventing new technologies for harnessing alternate sources of energy. The pursuit for alternative energy sources is taken for meeting the increasing demand of energy. This could be achieved by focusing on those sources of energy which are abundant in nature and renewable unlike fossil fuels. Solar energy has huge potential to be the major energy sources if harnessed efficiently. Scientists by now have gained huge success in solar energy conversion. There are various methods which have been employed by the researchers and still looking for more to increase the efficiency of solar panel. Currently we can only use about 21.5 percent of the solar energy into electricity commercially. Researches are in progress add more conversion rate to it. In this article we would discuss the new researches which have gained popularity in news and inspired many others too. There are three researches summed up below. I your ‘engineer buddy’ hope that it would be helpful to you and assist you in your engineering projects, science fair, seminar, in thesis or report making.

1-New organic semiconductor material: Organic tin in polymers increases their light absorption

 For the first time, Researchers of Germany successfully integrated organic tin into semiconducting polymers or plastics. These semi conducting polymers can be used for the increasing absorption capability of sunlight by the solar cells. By fusing the organic tin into the polymer, sunlight can be absorbed over a wide range of spectrum.

Unlike electric conductors such as metals, semiconductors conduct current under certain conditions. Due to this property semiconducting plastics also called as semiconducting polymers. These are extremely promising materials for the latest generation of solar cells in organic solar modules. The traditional inorganic versions are heavy and costly in terms of fabrication. The advantage of new organic variant besides cheap and light weight is that it can be used in transport sector too. However organic semiconductors are not as much efficient as the silicon based solar panels and still needs more research in this arena.

The working of solar cell is very simple. The light excites the electron which leaves its place reaching to higher energy level and leaving behind a cavity or the hole in the process. The hole or cavity acts as the positive charge. The charge is then percolated into different poles and a current can be observed. The closer the energy levels, more the solar energy utilization.

The polymer needs close energy levels as polymer with small energy gap has the red and even rare purple color. Therefore the researchers were focused towards developing such strongly light absorbing, deeply coloured plastics which was difficult to achieve. Finally they got new material in their labs which are visible with the bare eyes. The polymer is deep purple in solution and black when processed into a thin film or wafer.organic polymer

The scientists used a new concept to achieve the small energy gap. They introduced organic tin in the form of cyclic molecules called as ‘stannoles’ into the carbon –polymer backbone. Tin belong the same chemical group of carbon and somewhat similar to required properties. The electronic properties between stannoles and corresponding carbon congeners are very different.  It is not just an overweight carbon atom but also it can lower the energy levels in its organic compounds drastically. Before now, nobody was able to use these special properties of tin in polymeric materials. This was quite a difficult experiment for the researchers but they succeed. The team used palladium as catalyst during forming the desired plastic. This material can be processed easily into thin films and application on solar cell can be tested. The full potential can be assessed in the near future.

2- Solar power device would use heat to enhance efficiency

Apart from the above finding, another research is done. The new approach of harnessing the solar energy is developed by researchers of MIT. It involves of heating a high temperature material mass, which then radiate the infra-red radiations. Those radiations thus collected by conventional photovoltaic cells. This technique also enables to store energy for later use.

Adding additional steps would certainly improve the performance, as those wavelengths of sunlight go waste mostly. The conventional silicon based solar module does not take advantage of all the photons contained in sunlight. The main reason for such inability is that the band gap or energy level of photovoltaic material must match with the energy associating the photons. The silicon energy levels respond to many wavelengths of light but not all of them.

To remove that limitation, the team inserted a two – layered absorber –emitter device which is made of noble materials, involving carbon nanotubes (or CNT which are close to perfection one-dimensional structures, with diameters of only 1–3 nm and lengths upto few centimeters.) and photonic crystals (the periodic optical nanostructures that affect the motion of light photons just like ionic lattice affects electrons in solids).

In between the sunlight and PV cells. The intermediate material gathers the energy from the broad spectrum of sunlight and heats up during the process. While heated up, it turns into red hot and emits the radiations of corresponding wavelengths. That wavelength is then harnessed by the tuned PV cell mounted nearby, thus improving the overall efficiency of the Photovoltaic. The researchers said that an efficiency of upto 80 percent can be achieved.

How it solar Power Device works

The outer layer which faces towards the sun is an array of multiwall nanotubes. This absorbs the heat very efficiently and converts that into heat. This layer is bonded strongly with the layer of  a photonic crystal, concisely designed and engineered that when the adjacent layer heats up of nanotube, it glows having the peak intensity above the band gap of the PV. The initial tests are carried out on 1cm chip and follow up test would be done on 10 cm chip. With the increase in dimension of the solar cell panel, the loses of heat as compared to the size increases though.

3-Solar Photovoltaic thermal system

Two Researchers from Queen University have given a great contribution in solar cell technology. The research has led to a new solar photovoltaic thermal system, generating both thermal energy and electrical energy simultaneously. They call it solar thermal photo voltaic.thermal photovoltaic (tpv)

Solar pvts are basically manufactured with crystal silicon cells which generates electricity but little heat. These two researchers designed and tested amorphous silicon cells in a PVT system. The study demonstrated ten percent more solar electric output and increased heat generation due to higher operating temperature. This experiment opened up an entire use of amorphous silicon and make highly economic PVT possible. The dual purpose of PVT is very useful in cold countries to be used at home. It can be used to heat up the house and generate electricity.

The amorphous silicon has several advantages in contrast to crystal silicon.  It needs less material, cost less in manufacturing and provides greater return on investment. It also shows that amorphous silicon solar cells can be manufactured into thicker cells if they are operated at greater temperatures in PVT system.

solar energy power generation parameters

The efficiency of the solar power module is not very high as what is required for commercial purposes. It became crucial to make use of every bit of sunlight to the most possible way. Various researches are in progress for increasing the efficiency and got success, though it would take time to be practical commercially. By now we can take some measures at our levels to harness solar energy more at own level with the current solar panels. In this article we would cover solar installation process and tilt angle considerations.

 Installation parameters that affect solar array efficiency:-

Panel Orientation

In most of the countries, the roof ideally should face south direction to get the maximum sunshine throughout the year, but a quality design can often compensate for other directions.

Roof and Panel Pitch

The “pitch” or vertical tilt of roof can affect the number of hours of sunlight you receive in an average day all the year round. Large commercial systems have incorporated with solar tracking systems that automatically follow the sun’s tilt through the day. Though these are expensive, and not typically used for residential solar modules.

Temperature

Some solar modules like it hot but most don’t. So, panels typically need to be installed a few inches above the roof having enough air circulation to cool them down. Some photovoltaic panels are designed such a way that makes them more efficient in energy conversions in hotter climates.

Shade 

Shade is the enemy of solar power production. With bad solar design, even a little shade on one panel can shut down energy conversion on all of other panels (like a bad bulb in a string of Christmas lights which is also called as Christmas effect). Before designing a system for home, technicians conduct a detailed shading analysis of the roof to reveal its patterns of shade and sunlight throughout the year. Then the local installation partner conducts another detailed analysis to verify the findings from the first decipher.

Perfect Tilting ‘Angle’ For Solar Panel

To get the most efficiency out of the solar panel when installing the solar module is very important, that we have already discussed. We know now all the parameters but we still not know what is the angle at which it must be kept to get optimum sunshine. Further we will discuss the angle of the panel.

  • The first quick and easy way- know your latitude and subtract 15deg. from it for winter season while add the same for summer. Let’s take an example, suppose your latitude is 35 degree, the angle you should tilt your panel in the winter is 35+15= 50 degree and during summer it would be 20 degree.
  • Now the improved and accurate than the previous method for winter: – the winter days are very short and winter does not last for many months of the year for most of the year. Multiply the latitude by 0.9 and add 29 deg to get the angle of panel in winter. Let’s say if the angle of latitude is 40 deg then for winter 40* 0.9 +29 is equal to 65 degree.
  •  For summer, multiply the latitude with 0.9 and subtract it with 23.5
  • For spring and fall season to get the optimum result just subtract the latitude with 2.5.

In the pioneer’s festival in Vienna, the most advanced flying car was unveiled by the Slovakia based company, aeromobil. The aeromobil 3.0 is the name of their prototype. It has accommodations for two passenger and has length of the limousine. The car make you feel like the luxury sedan. The amazing feature of the car, which makes it advanced, is that it can transform from car to airplane within few minutes and reminds us like a transformer from the film- Transformers. The speed of the vehicle in car form is upto 160km per hour and 200km per hour as a flying aircraft.

Front view makes it look like a car whereas back view makes feel like a private jet.  The aeromobil 3.0 requires 250metres of open field, pavement or grassland to take off and 50metre space to land. When one feel it to fly, just a touch of a button ,it opens its wings like from the side automatically an a large  becomes a small flying plane. It can be kept at home garage just like a car when we are done with the flying.

The company says if one need to buy the car, they must possess the pilot’s license, which is fair enough. We certainly don’t want someone to crash it onto or roofs. Presently only trained pilots are permitted to test the aeromobil 3.0.

Specifications (AeroMobil 3.0), Data from the  Manufacturer

General characteristics

Crew: two

Capacity: two passengers

Wingspan: 8.32 m (27 ft. 4 inch) wings extended

Width: 2.24 m (7 ft. 4 inch) wings folded

Empty weight: 600 kg

Power plant: 1 × Rotax 912 four cylinder horizontally-opposed liquid and air-cooled piston aircraft engine, 75 kW (100 hp)

Performance

Maximum speed: 200 km/h (124 mph; 108 kn) maximum road speed: 160 km/h (99 mph)

Stall speed: 60 km/h (37 mph; 32 kn)

Range: 700 km (435 mi; 378 nmi) Road range: 500 km (310 mi)

Driving fuel consumption: 7.5 l/100 km (31.4 mpg-US; 37.7 mpg-imp)

Flight fuel consumption: 15 l (4.0 US gal; 3.3 imp gal) /hour

aeroMOBIL 3.0
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aeroMOBIL 3.0
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aeroMOBIL 3.0
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Alternative sources
Alternative sources of energy for Electricity

Alternative sources of energy

Every day the world is liberating carbon-di-oxide to the atmosphere that would still be there for hundreds of years. Increase in carbon dioxide to the atmosphere leads to ‘Greenhouse Effect’ which in turn is responsible for global warming.

 To decrease global warming we need to cut down the emission of co2. To curb co2 emission we need to stop fuels which emit co2 as by product. How simple is that, but not that simple my friends. Fossil fuel is the major energy source today. Without that, it would be impossible to think of our progress as a human being, we all are aware of that. But the question is can we stop using fossil fuels and still fulfilling the energy demands? Yes, might be the answer only if, we use alternative sources of energy.

An alternative source of energy is quite controversial to define. But current scenario say that energy sources which is not involved with the production of inherent undesirable emission especially co2 to the environment are alternative sources of energy. It does mean not to use the conventional source of energy for energy generation. It causes undesirable or adverse effect to our climate and to living beings. Most importantly they are not renewable and will deplete soon.

Common types of alternative sources of energy are:-

  • Solar energy is the use of sun-light as an energy source. Sunlight can be converted into thermal (heat) energy and electric energy. With the use of solar heaters and Photo Voltaic cells.
  • Wind energy is the generation of electricity from the wind via Wind Mills as it has motion and hence kinetic energy.
  • Geothermal energy is the utilization of the earth’s internal heat to boil water for heating buildings or generating electricity with the help of turbines.
  • Biofuel and Ethanol are plant-derived gasoline alternative for powering vehicles and running other engines in factories.
  • Nuclear energy uses nuclear fission to release energy in Nuclear power plant.
  • Hydrogen is burned and used as clean fuel water being the only byproduct for spaceships and some cars.

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In this article- Module performance, Aging, Recycling and Production would be explained in short. Hope you would find it useful in school projects, Engineering projects and assist you in making your thesis or report on solar energy.

Module performance 

-is normally rated under standard test conditions STC which is the irradiance of 1000 watt per meter square, solar spectrum of AM1.5 and module temperature at 25 degree Celsius

How solar cell or solar module is produced?

  • The poly-silicon rock is melted until it forms white hot liquid. The molten material is then defused into a single giant crystal in which all the atoms are perfectly aligned and ordered in desired structure and orientation.
  • The 120 to 140 kg of poly-silicon pieces is then stacked in a quartz crucible. The silicon disc is soaked with tiny amount of boron. The boron is the doping substance here, which ensures positive potential electrical orientation of the resulting crystal. The crucible is encapsulated within thick walls of insulating graphite and locked within a cylindrical furnace.
  • The next step is melting the crystal. When the crystal glowing furnace heats up to the temperature of around 25,000 degree Fahrenheit, its silicon content melts and slurry is formed. The actual magic works, after computer monitor registers the right temperature and atmospheric condition is met. A silicon seed crystal is lowered into the melt.
  • The silicon melt freezes over the crystal seed, matching to the seed crystalline structure. The size of the crystal increases and stopped to the required dimensions. The next step involved cooling the crystal to 300 degree Fahrenheit which took around 2 to 3 days. The entire crystal is the form of big cylindrical structures.
  • Those cylinders thus formed, are cut into wafers with the appropriate cutting tools as required.

Recycling

Production of a device is crucial but it becomes extremely crucial to recover or recycle the devise if it failed to work properly. The advantage of solar module is that if it is not usable or failed to work properly, it can be recycled. Mostly upto 97 percent of the semiconductor, glass etc. part as well as large amount of the ferrous and non-ferrous metals.  Many private companies and NGOs are currently actively engaged in take –back and recycling operations for modules with ended life.

The recycling process depends on the type of technology used in the module –

The silicon based modules: – At the beginning of the process, aluminum frames and junction boxes are dismantled manually. The module is then crushed in the mill and the different fractions are separated viz. plastic, glass and metals etc. it is possible to recover more than 80% of the incoming weight. Process can be entertained by the flat glasses recyclers since the composition and morphology is similar to those flat glasses used in the building and automotive industry. There covered glass from this process is easily accepted by the glass foam and glass insulation company.

 

Non silicon based Modules: – For recycling the non-silicon based modules, less specific recycling technologies are required such as the chemical baths(dipping into chemicals and depositing on some other material) in order to isolate the different semiconductor materials. For cadmium telluride modules, recycling process starts with crushing the module and subsequently separating the different fractions. The recycling approach is designed in a way to recover glass upto 90 percent and 95 percent of the semiconductor materials contained in it.