December 10, 2012
Fulton-Montgomery Community College’s Introduction to Engineering Science students were presented with a real-world problem for their final project of the semester: How can they help refugees in various parts of the world heat food staples and sanitize water without stripping the little natural resources available?
Students performed an engineering analysis on various types of heaters using solar energy by analyzing parameters such as portability, cooking style, materials, and complexity of design. Students grouped into teams to build prototypes.
“I thought the range of ideas was great, no two prototypes were anything alike,” said Physics Associate Professor John Kohn.
Technology Instructor Jeremy Spraggs added, “The units performed with impressive results. On a breezy day with ambient temperature hovering at the freezing point, and with the low winter sun at just under 2/3 power (a measured reading of 650 watts/sq meter); the prototypes gave results in the 150s and 160s (deg F). You know they would work really well in Botswana at high noon!”