Investigatory project Essay
Extreme heat particularly during summer has physiological and psychological effects on humans. The occurrence of extreme heat in our surroundings is a current problem that caused by gradual devastation of our environment. This led the researchers to develop an eco-friendly device that can contribute to the solution to this problem.
This study determined the efficiency of the improvised eco-friendly evaporative air cooler in conserving electrical energy consumption and in reducing room temperature in relation to time, and amount of ice cubes.
The materials used in the construction of this improvised evaporative air cooler are plywood, insulation foam, dynamotor from discarded toy cars, electric fan blades from CD case and UTP cable wire.
Electric energy consumption of the improvised air cooler was computed using the formula E=Pt wherein E is energy consumption, P is power rating and t is time. The computed energy consumption of improvised air cooler was compared with the computed energy consumptions of air conditioners and commercial air coolers.
The efficiency of the improvised eco-friendly evaporative air cooler was tested in a 4m x 3m room. The room temperature was measured one at a time under different conditions: the effect of time on room temperature and the effect of the amount of ice on room temperature.
The data were recorded, analyzed and interpreted. Based on the interpretation of data, the improvised eco- friendly evaporative air cooler consumed less electric energy consumption compared to air conditioners and commercial air coolers. In the first part of the experiment, as the time increases the room temperature decreases. In the second part of the experiment, as the amount of ice increases the room temperature decreases.
It was concluded that improvised eco-friendly evaporative air cooler is efficient in terms of reducing electric energy consumption and in decreasing room temperature. There is a significant relationship between time and room temperature. The amount of ice significantly affects the room temperature. It is recommended that more studies should be undertaken to improve the efficiency of this improvised eco- friendly evaporative air cooler using other materials.
Technology brings comforts and convenience to the lives of the people. It is a fact that technology has the ability to do wonders in the field of industry, medicine, agriculture and communication. However, it cannot be denied that it is also one of the culprits to what is happening to our environment such as the occurrence of climate change, deterioration of natural resources and alarming waste problems. These situations gave the researchers the idea to create an improvised eco- friendly device that could contribute to lessen problems on energy crisis, ozone layer depletion and waste problems. A. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Global warming is an overall state of existence that is the cumulative effect of hundreds of environmental factors. It is a gradual increase in
the earth’s average surface temperature and one of its effects is the extreme heat during summer that could lead to heat stroke. Heat stroke is the most severe form of heat illness and is a life-threatening emergency.
According to Manny Mendoza, weather forecaster at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the hottest days are usually experienced in the country in May. (Helen Flores, 2012). Philippines has a high relative humidity because of high temperature and the surrounding water bodies. The average monthly relative humidity of Philippines varies between 71 percent in March and 85 percent in September. The warm temperature and high relative and absolute humidity together give rise to high sensible temperature throughout the country of Philippines. Aside from problems on climate change, the world is also facing energy crisis.
The world’s energy reserves are not unlimited and one of the current problems in the country today is insufficient supply of energy while the demand for electricity becomes higher. To accommodate the load growth, the Department of Energy thru the National Transmission Corporation and National Power Corporation are undertaking projects to address this issue. (Manila Bulletin Newspaper, March 10, 2010). For the consumers of electrical energy, the best way they can do to contribute in solving our problems on energy crisis is through energy conservation. Energy conservation can be achieved through increased efficient use of energy, in conjunction with decreased energy consumption and/ or reduced consumption from conventional energy sources.
The people behind science and technology….the scientists and the inventors as well as the future scientists and inventors should focus on creating products and devices that could remedy problems on energy crisis and could reduce problems on global warming and waste disposal problems. Air conditioner is a commonly used appliance particularly during hot days. It is designed to change the air temperature and humidity within an area and because of the working principle of this device, a large amount of energy is being consumed and gives out excess heat as a byproduct that adds up to global warming.
This device is responsible for the consumption of up to 5% of world’s produced electricity and the chemicals utilized in this device as coolants are harmful to the environment. This has led the scientists to design methods of cooling air which may be more efficient, renewable and ecologically beneficial and through this air coolers were invented. Evaporative coolers have many benefits for cooling homes, businesses, warehouses, and commercial kitchens. These systems, often called swamp coolers have distinct advantages over traditional air conditioners.
They can lower air temperature by 20 degrees. The fan blows this cooled air throughout the house or commercial establishment providing an effective cooling solution. These systems use much less electricity than traditional air conditioners, and they cost a fraction of the price. However, in spite of these advantages of commercial air coolers, most of the people could not still afford to buy these air coolers since these are more expensive than ordinary electric fans. However, electric fans although are often used to cool people, they do not actually cool air but work by evaporative cooling of sweat and increased heat conduction into the surrounding air due to the airflow from the fans. Thus, fans are ineffective at cooling the body if the surrounding air is near body temperature and contains high humidity and air cooler is more efficient than electric fans. B. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM:
This study determined the efficiency of the improvised eco-friendly evaporative air cooler in conserving electric energy consumption.
Specifically this aimed to answer the following questions:
1. Is the electric energy consumption of this improvised eco-friendly evaporative air cooler lesser compared to commercial air conditioners and air coolers? 2. Is there a significant relationship between time and room temperature? 3. Is the amount of ice significantly affects the decrease of room temperature?
1. The electric energy consumption of improvised eco- friendly evaporative air cooler is lesser compared to the electric energy consumption of air conditioner and commercial air cooler. 2. There is significant relationship between time of using improvised air cooler and room temperature. 3. The amount of ice significantly affects the decrease of room temperature.
D. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The current condition of our environment is gradually deteriorating and it has great impact on the health and well-being of the all living beings. Thus, recycling and improvisation of new processes, products and devices are greatly needed. This study is an innovative application of reducing temperature using an improvised evaporative air cooler. It is less expensive and consumes less electric energy consumption. It does not release harmful substances to the surroundings. Moreover, most the materials used in constructing this device are from discarded materials. This device is for those who cannot afford to buy air conditioners or commercial air coolers but want to comfort themselves during hot humid days. E. SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study focused on the construction of an improvised evaporative air cooler and on testing the efficiency of this air cooler in terms of electric energy consumption and the effect of time, amount of ice on room temperature. The testing of its efficiency was conducted in a 4m x 3m room and with an initial room temperature of 26° C.
F. DEFINITION OF TERMS
The following definitions are used to facilitate understanding of this study. Air Cooler. This is unit for cooling the air supplied to a building or for dissipating the heat from machinery, furnaces, and other types of heat-producing equipment. Dynamotor. This refers to an electrical machine combining generator and motor within one housing, usually used to convert direct current to alternating current and used as either an electric motor or a generator, converting electrical power to mechanical power. Eco- friendly. This literally means earth-friendly or not harmful to the environment.
This term most commonly refers to products that contribute to green living or practices that help conserve resources like water and energy. Efficiency. This connotes the performance of the improvised air cooler in reducing electric energy consumption and in decreasing room temperature. Electric Energy Consumption. This refers to the amount of energy consumed and is expressesed in kwh Evaporative. This is caused by evaporation, a process of changing liquid to vapor. Improvised. This denotes something that was created using materials that are available Insulation Foam. This consists of panels of polyurethane foam that are used in
commercial and residential construction as roof or outside wall insulation.
Room Temperature. This implies a temperature inside a temperature-controlled building
G. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
The review of the study focuses on the construction of improvised evaporative air cooler and its efficiency in reducing electric energy consumption and in reducing room temperature with time and amount of ice. Facts were gathered from books and internet as references in order to obtain relevant information for this study. Swagatam in 2011 stressed that the last 100 years have perhaps witnessed the height of massacre that the human race can do to our only planet’s natural resources.
He pointed out that some of the human activities cleaned up more than 50% of the rain forest, depleted the ozone layer, guzzled up fossil fuel to near-exhaustion, increased global warming. According to him, the future should look quite bright as scientists are trying hard to find nature friendly technological alternatives that may benefit mankind without affecting mother earth. Inspired from nature itself, NREL (the National Renewable Energy Laboratory) has invented (or rather modified) an air conditioning device incorporating an innovative technology called “Desiccant-Enhanced eVaporative air conditioner – DEVap.” An evaporative cooler with this technology not only cools the air, but also dehumidifies it in a pretty efficient way. Dr. Saurabh Gupta in 2001 cited that evaporative coolers have many benefits for cooling homes, businesses, warehouses, and commercial kitchens. These systems, often called swamp coolers, are essentially big fans with dampened pads in front of the airflow.
Air is forced through the pad, and evaporative action causes significant cooling. Swamp cooler maintenance requires changing the swamp cooler pads each year or two, but they are inexpensive at $20–$40 per set. The pads can be made from wood shavings—aspen trees are frequently used—because shavings retain moisture and resist mildew. Mike Clarke in 2004, from the All-Ireland Hub for Trials Methodology Research in Queen’s University Belfast, explained that swamp coolers have distinct advantages over traditional air conditioners. The technology is sound, and these coolers can lower air temperature by 20 degrees. The fan blows this cooled air throughout the house or commercial establishment providing an effective cooling solution. These systems use much less electricity than traditional air conditioners, and they cost a fraction of the price.
They are not only cheap to buy and install but also can be built by enterprising people for additional savings. All that is needed is a blower and pump, a cooling pad, water and a box. Sheet metal is the best material from which to construct the box, because water must be kept in it to moisten the pad. Evaporative coolers can use between 3–15 gallons of water daily. Standard air conditioning (AC) units pass air over coils filled with refrigerant. The refrigerant heats and cools by being compressed. The coils cool the air and it is recirculated throughout the home. Hot air and moisture are vented outside, but the system is basically closed. If windows or doors are opened, cool air escapes. Swamp coolers operate quite differently. The cooling effect depends on outside air moving through the home. Air must have an inlet and outlet for this system to work.
Closing and opening doors control airflow in evaporative systems, while AC units employ ductwork to direct air. Swamp coolers can utilize ducts, but they need to be larger to accommodate a greater quantity of forced air. Swamp coolers blow moist air, while AC units circulate dry air. Using the two types of cooler together is contraindicated, because they cancel each other out. One is a humidifier and the other is a dehumidifier. For this reason, swamp coolers may not work well in humid climates. These systems depend on dry air to function efficiently. Otherwise they blow damp, soggy air, and evaporation does not occur, so no cooling effect is produced. High humidity can cause the swamp cooler pads to smell musty. Swamp coolers are superb for use in areas with dry climates.
Desert areas and places with light annual rainfall rates are perfect locations for people to enjoy the tremendous benefits of these cooling systems. Pascholda in 2005 stressed out that the monthly costs of running a swamp cooler can be less than one-third of the cost of operating AC cooling units. These efficient units operate on 120-volt current, and they can be plugged into any outlet without needing a special circuit. The air in the home is continually replaced, which can eliminate germs, smoke and stale-air odors. Moisturized air can be beneficial for wood furniture and quality fabric drapes and upholstery. The swamp cooler pads efficiently filter pollen and dust, reducing allergy symptoms for sensitive individuals. These systems require minimal ductwork. One short air duct can direct air to a central location, and simply opening and closing doors can cool rooms or stop airflow. Swamp cooler maintenance is easy. The pads need to be changed every season or two.
The fan belt needs periodic inspection and should be replaced if it develops more than an inch of slack. The water reservoir should be cleaned annually of any lime and scale deposits, and the blower bearing needs to be checked to ensure the oil level is adequate for lubrication. A swamp cooler can be a tremendous benefit for the environment and save homeowners money on equipment, maintenance costs, energy, and repair bills. While evaporative cooling is one of the oldest forms of climate control still found today, evaporative coolers remain a highly sought-after alternative to traditional air conditioning. While very effective and efficient when used properly, these cooling units are not for use everywhere. Due to the evaporative process used by these swamp coolers, these cooling units are best used in hot, dry climates, including the Southwestern United States. In these climates, however, an evaporative cooler can be the most effective and efficient means of climate control.
Waltona in 2006 explained that evaporative swamp coolers are highly efficient and economical cooling devices that, on-the-whole, will operate for less money than an air conditioner. Evaporative coolers cost less to both operate and maintain than their air conditioning counterparts. In addition to being inexpensive to install, evaporative coolers also do not require anything more than minimal seasonal maintenance. Traditional cooling devices, however, require regular cleaning of the air filter to ensure the unit is operating at maximum efficiency. Evaporative coolers also use less energy while operating when compared to typical a/c units. It is important to remember that due to the evaporation process, an evaporative cooler is most efficient in an area that is both hot and dry, without a lot of moisture in the air.
The most popular evaporative coolers employ two categories of cooler pads: aspen excelsior and rigid cellulose media. The aspen pad cooler draws outside air into all four sides through metal panels that support the aspen pads. The aspen wood is used due to its properties of being odorless, chemically inert, and easily absorbent. (Watt and Brown, 2005) An article in Health Day news in July 2012 cited that a fan might help to increase heat loss if the temperature is below 95°F and the fan is
not directly aimed at the person but when temperatures are above 95°F, the fan might actually contribute to heat gained.
A. Preparation of the Materials
a. 19’’x15”x11” Ply wood
b. Insulation foam
c. Dynamotor from discarded mechanical toy cars
d. CD case
e. Electric wire (1 m UTP cable wire )
B. Construction of Improvised Eco- Friendly Evaporative Air Cooler A 14.5”x10.5”x15” box made of plywood was constructed and served as the body of the improvised ecofriendly evaporative air cooler. Three improvised electric fan blades from CD case were placed and fixed together with dynamotors from discarded mechanical toy cars inside the wooden box. Three electric fan blades were placed in well- planned positions to have a good air circulation. Electric wires (UTP cable wire) are installed. A plastic container with ice cubes was placed inside the box.
C. Testing the Efficiency of the Improvised Eco- Friendly Evaporative Air Cooler in terms of
1. Electric Energy Consumption
The electric energy consumption in one hour of the improvised eco- friendly evaporative air cooler was computed using the formula E= Pt (E is energy consumption, P is power and t is time.) and was compared to the computed energy consumption of air conditioners and commercial air coolers.
2. Time in Using the Improvised Air Cooler
The experiment was conducted inside a 3m x 4m room. Windows and door were closed. The initial room temperature was measured using a laboratory
thermometer. Then improvised eco-friendly evaporative air cooler using 20 cubes of ice was plugged to 220 AC source. Room temperature was measured 50 cm away from the air cooler every ten minutes in one hour. Data were recorded.
3. Amount of Ice Used
The experiment was conducted inside a 3m x 4m room. Windows and door were closed. The initial room temperature was measured using a laboratory thermometer. Then improvised eco-friendly evaporative air cooler without ice cubes was plugged to 220 AC source. Room temperature was measured 50 cm away from the air cooler using 10 cubes of ice. The procedure was repeated using 20 cubes of ice and 30 cubes of ice. Data were recorded.
PRESENTATION, INTERPRETATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA
This chapter presents the analysis of data gathered, the findings and the interpretation of results. A. Electrical Energy Consumption
The graph shows that Improvised Eco -Friendly Evaporative Air Cooler has the least electric energy consumption compared to air conditioner and commercial air cooler. Less energy consumption means lower electric bill.
B. Time in using the Improvised Air Cooler
The table shows that room temperature decreases with the increase of time. It shows that time has significant relationship with room temperature. C. Amount of Ice Used
Number of Ice Cube
Table 4.3 Effect of Amount of Time in Using Improvised Air Cooler on Room Temperature
The table shows that room temperature decreases as number of ice cube increases. It shows that amount of ice significantly affects the room temperature.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
After careful analysis of data, it is concluded that the Improvised Eco- Friendly Evaporative Air Cooler is efficient in terms of reducing electric energy consumption and in decreasing room temperature. There is a significant relationship between time and room temperature. The amount of ice significantly affects the room temperature.
It is recommended that more studies should be undertaken to improve the efficiency of this improvised eco- friendly evaporative air cooler so that it can be used in larger rooms.
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