Table of Contents
Alpha Prototype Description
As indicated in the concept, the alpha prototype consists of two separate modules. Each module encompasses one of the individual subsystems (power or lighting). The power module is driven by a bicycle which is connected via a friction drive to a DC generator. The power module contains an on board power conditioning system to prepare the power for charging the light modules. The light modules (up to four at a time) are connected to the power module via one of the four DC jacks. The charging process is estimated to take about one hour. The light modules contain a high power white LED, four NiMH batteries, and a power conditioning circuit to route power during charging and use. The entire light module is contained within a recycled aluminum can. Images of the alpha prototype system can be seen below. Please see the following document for more detail.
|Power Module in Use||Power Module Close Up||Power Module CAD|
|Light Module in Use||Light Module Cross-Section||Light Module Exploded View|
Purpose of the PrototypeAlpha prototypes are used to demonstrate the functionality and purpose of the design. These prototypes have been displayed at the 2009 Sustainable Design EXPO in Washington DC (April 2009) and at the Second Annual Imagine RIT Innovation and Creativity Festival (May 2009). The light modules have proven to be fully functional, while problems have arisen with the power module. The power module circuit will need some modification before it is operable under all conditions.
Once the design has been refined, additional prototypes should be constructed after for field testing in Haiti through the team's partner organizations (SOIL and H.O.P.E.). These prototypes will be useful in collecting customer feedback for incorporation into future beta prototypes.
Approximation of the PrototypeSince the design contains few high price or sensitive supplies, physical models will serve as the best prototypes for this project. Subsystem prototypes were constructed for the two circuit boards needed before the Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) are ordered to ensure proper functionality. Additional testing would have helped in fully characterizing circuit behavior.
The CAD program Solidworks was used throughout the design process to model the mechanical components of the design. This helped to ensure proper component fitting and provided blueprints for component manufacturing. It also gave a visual representation before the actual prototype was built.
Simple analytical tools such as Excel were used to aid the design process. However, due to the simplicity of the design, more complex analysis tools such as ANSYS were not needed.
To ensure compliance with some of the engineering specification, it was necessary to run a series of tests. These tests were listed individually and in a compiled document on the Robust Design node. As the tests were run, the results were recorded and analyzed in the master test results document which can be accessed through the link below.
Testing was only one part of the effort to ensure that the alpha prototype meet the specifications that the team set out to meet. Below one will find a set of documentation that will help to understand how the team did, or did not, meet the specification at the end of the design process. Additionally, documents to support the "Meeting Specifications" document can be found to make reference easier.
Future Project OpportunitiesThe team members of P08427 would like to make recommendations for future work on this project. While our team was successful in establishing the base technology, there remain some critical points which should be addressed before prototype field testing is feasible. Additionally after discussing the matter with various professors it is possible that some of the specifications set for the product were not entirely reasonable. We would ask that future teams take our recommendations into consideration as we believe that they will lead to a more successful product. These recommendations, in addition to the documentation of the work already completed, should provide a clear point from which to start any future work.
The final state of our design is also addressed in our published documents