Annex A - Group Research Proposal

Group Project Proposal (Engineering)
Names:Jiang Yunjun, Chan Ze Feng, Chin Wen Kit, Joseph Lim Wee Hao
Class: S2-01
Group Reference:

1.    Indicate the type of research that you are adopting:

[    ] Test a hypothesis: Hypothesis-driven research

[    ] Measure a value: Experimental research (I)

[    ] Measure a function or relationship: Experimental research (II)

[    ] Construct a model: Theoretical sciences and applied mathematics

[    ] Observational and exploratory research

[  X  ] Improve a product or process: Industrial and applied research

2.    Write a research proposal of your interested topic in the following format:

Title: Development of a machine that can extract Water from Air.

A.    Problem being addressed

The world is slowly running out of water that can sustain everyone on earth. However, the atmosphere contains 0.04% of earth’s total fresh water, and we aspire to be able to utilise it.
Certain areas do not have a reliable source of water, so with a atmospheric water generator, it will be possible for us to extract water from the air, thus providing the world with a reliable source of atmospheric water. At any moment, there is a total of 12,900 cubic kilometers in the atmosphere clean for drinking. Thus, anyone can rely on water from the atmosphere for any type of usage, especially for drinking purposes in countries where clean water is scarce. We chose this topic as we hope that our research can help to promote the idea of extracting drinking water from the air for certain countries.

Desalination is not viable is it not only requires high-end technology, it also requires a reliable water source near the location. Since the location will be very remote and deserted, it is not possible to use this expensive technology in this location.

The capturing and storage of rainwater will require a constant amount of rainfall, which is not very reliable.

High tech purifying systems are very expensive, and also need  constant maintenance. This cannot be done in remote areas, where technology is seldom heard of.

Although there are many other alternate ways to get water (e.g. desalination, high-tech purifying systems, rainwater, importing etc), our group idea is cost efficient, and the results are almost immediate. Thus, it can easily be one of the most effective ways to get pure water suitable for drinking, especially in rural or dry areas / countries.

B.    Goals

We want to be able to create a Energy Efficient System that is able to extract water from the Atmosphere.
In particular, he wanted to  
  1. Purify the water with UV light until enough bacteria is gone and that the water is safe for drinking after Extraction.
  2. Energy Efficient Extraction System
  3. Affordable (<$USD100)
  4. Built out of common everyday items and utilities
  5. Able to use without much preparation and mess

C.    Description in detail of method or procedures (The following are important and key items that should be included when formulating ANY AND ALL research plans.)

Thermoelectric Cooler
Heatsink and Fan
UV Light bulb
Rubber tubes
1 (1m long 1cm wide)
Extension Wires
Plastic Boxes
Activated carbon
Filter paper
1 (20cm x 20cm)
Aluminium Plate
1 (12cm x 12cm)

Diagram: The causes air to flow through the tube onto the metal plate, which is cooled by the thermoelectric cooler and heat sink. The water will  condense on the metal plate and flow into the tube. The tube is wrapped around the UV light bulb so that water in the tube will be exposed to the UV light, killing the bacteria in the water. Then the water will flow through the activated carbon to filter the water before being collected in a basin.

• Procedures: Detail all procedures and experimental design to be used for data collection
Build phase:
1) Wrap rubber tube around uv light bulb as shown in diagram.
2) Attach thermoelectric cooler+fan as shown in diagram.
3) Attach metal plate to stand as shown in diagram.
4) Attach fan and rubber tube as shown in diagram.
5) Attach fan+tube as shown in diagram.
6) Wrap filter paper on top of collection box.
7) Spread activated carbon/charcoal on top of filter paper.
8) Attach all apparatus from step 1-7 as shown in diagram.

Experimenting phase:
1) Set up the Device
2) Switch on all Appliances
3) Measure the amount of water collected at different periods of time. ( 1 hour, 5 hours, A day)
4) Repeat the step to get an average result
5) Switch one of the variables and Test the device.

- Speed of fan
- Pressure on the condensing plate

• Risk and Safety: Identify any potential risks and safety precautions to be taken.

In order to avoid getting electric shocks while using equipment or getting burnt when touching the thermoelectric cooler, we will have to wear rubber gloves at all times to prevent injuries from happening.
We will also need to wear Protective Goggles to have the least contact with the radiation from UV light, and stay away at all times unless necessary.
To prevent burns from the thermoelectric cooler,  take extra care not to approach or come into contact with the thermoelectric cooler. To prevent people from coming in contact with the experiment site, we will not allow anyone to go in.

• Data Analysis: Describe the procedures you will use to analyze the data/results that answer research questions or hypotheses

1) Record amount of water produced.
2) Record the weather of that day
3) Repeat experiment with different weather conditions (so that we know how well the machine works in different environments)
Optional: Repeat experiments to confirm the results
4) Use data to chart a graph on how much water our atmospheric water generator can produce
5) Improve design if necessary.

Amount of bacteria alive
Amount of water Collected

D. Bibliography: List at least five (5) major references (e.g. science journal articles, books, internet sites) from your literature review. If you plan to use vertebrate animals, one of these references must be an animal care reference. Choose the APA format and use it consistently to reference the literature used in the research plan. List your entries in alphabetical order.

1. Clark, J. (2007, November 2). Why can't we manufacture water?. . Retrieved July 17, 2014, from

2. Team, G. (2011, August 22). Extracting Water from the Air. . Retrieved July 17, 2014, from

3. Introduction to UV Disinfection. (2014, January 1). . Retrieved July 17, 2014, from

4. Hartle, R. (2013, August 30). How Heat Sinks Work. . Retrieved July 17, 2014, from

5. Thermoelectric Cooling. (2014, June 25). . Retrieved July 17, 2014, from

6. Luntz, S. (2014, April 21). Towers Produce Clean Drinking Water From Thin Air. . Retrieved July 23, 2014, from

No comments:

Post a Comment