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From Capstone Student-led Project to Experiential Learning Module: Design and Manufacturing of an Integrated System of Pico-Hydroelectric Generator and Water Filtration

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Capstone Projects in Manufacturing

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Irina Nicoleta Ciobanescu Husanu Drexel University (Tech.)

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Irina Ciobanescu Husanu, Ph. D. is Assistant Clinical Professor with Drexel University, Engineering Technology program. Her area of expertise is in thermo-fluid sciences with applications in micro-combustion, fuel cells, green fuels and plasma assisted combustion. She has prior industrial experience in aerospace engineering that encompasses both theoretical analysis and experimental investigations such as designing and testing of propulsion systems including design and development of pilot testing facility, mechanical instrumentation, and industrial applications of aircraft engines. Also, in the past 10 years she gained experience in teaching ME and ET courses in both quality control and quality assurance areas as well as in thermal-fluid, energy conversion and mechanical areas from various levels of instruction and addressed to a broad spectrum of students, from freshmen to seniors, from high school graduates to adult learners. She also has extended experience in curriculum development. Dr Husanu developed laboratory activities for Measurement and Instrumentation course as well as for quality control undergraduate and graduate courses in ET Masters program. Also, she introduced the first experiential activity for Applied Mechanics courses. She is coordinator and advisor for capstone projects for Engineering Technology.

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Michael G Mauk P.E. Drexel University

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Michael Mauk is Assistant Professor in Drexel University's Engineering Technology program.

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Perry B. Gold

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Nando Tyler Orfanelli

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Renewable energy technologies are continuously expanding due to the increased demand for energy. Places lacking access to energy can utilize innovative technologies that offer diverse features useful for specific or niche applications. Renewable energy systems (wind, solar, micro hydropower) can be customized for use in remote locations, as well as combined for multifunctional purposes (e.g., electricity generation and water purification) basic purpose of the technology and to advance technology to address additional needs of stakeholders. The students were required to evaluate renewable energy resources and design an innovative device to produce and harvest renewable energy. The production of energy using a hydroelectric generator was chosen by the design team. Current devices on the market exclude scaled models that share similarities to industrial hydroelectric generators. During the development of this project students explored and employed mathematical and numerical modeling (CFD) to predict the behavior of the physical system. They also developed a scaled model prototype using 3-D additive manufacturing methods. Educational models are often used to display capabilities and limitations, but fail to provide a complete functional integrated system for data acquisition. The hydroelectric module developed by the students served as an educational module for the Green Energy Manufacturing related courses, evolving into an integrated analytical, numerical and experimental approach, and focusing on creating a discovery learning environment in the classroom. The system was placed within a simulated aqueous fluid environment to control fluid flow. The environment allowed for precise conditional control for educational laboratory experimentation measurements and data analysis. This capstone project was implemented to integrate theory with application at interdisciplinary level. The project combined concepts and notions from fluid mechanics, numerical analysis, digital electronics, microcontrollers, and a wide area of mechanical and manufacturing engineering principles. This hands-on approach enables students to become familiar with methods of manufacturing with provided accessibility to a mechanical laboratory. Such projects encourage students to investigate methods of subtractive and additive manufacturing. This includes equipment for rapid prototyping such as 3D printing, CNC, and engraving. This paper describes the development of the integrated pico-hydroelectric system and water filtration, and its adaptation to an experimental learning module. We also detail the level of attainment of the Student Learning Objectives for the capstone project described and the newly developed learning objectives for the laboratory activities created around this experiential module. Design and development of such capstones projects are evaluated across three consecutive terms of the academic year. Students submit proposals with detailed information of their design approaches. During the second term, a working prototype is presented with a progress report. The final term requires a presentation and report including data on performance and recommendations for future work. The students are evaluated through oral presentations and written reports by all faculty members and representatives from industry and outside educational institutions Individual student contributions are included within the evaluations. The capstone project simulates a real-world problem that prepares students for industry.

Ciobanescu Husanu, I. N., & Mauk, M. G., & Gold, P. B., & Orfanelli, N. T. (2018, June), From Capstone Student-led Project to Experiential Learning Module: Design and Manufacturing of an Integrated System of Pico-Hydroelectric Generator and Water Filtration Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30540

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