Developing a Plan for a Recycling

This week, we separated our work into three parts. First, we walked around Windsor downtown area and record the location of recycling bins or regular bins. We have decided that Chatham St, Pitt St and Ferry St are our target streets, as they are in great need for more recycling opportunities. We have studied Ouellette Ave and Pellssier St, which are both very developed, and compared them to our target area to understand what needs to be done. The maps below indicate where recycling reciprocals are located currently, as well as highlights the difference between our target area and the developed streets.

 

Secondly, we design a recycling survey that we are going to ask business owners in the target area to take. We want to find out what the current recycling system they use is, and how motivated they are to recycle. We Plan to send out the surveys next week.

Last but not least, we have begun to do research about effective recycling systems in other cities. This information will provide up with ideas about what we can do in downtown Windsor. We are also contacting city official and other people in the community that are strongly engaged in recycling to learn more about the current recycling practices and what they think could be done to improve it.

Next week, we will be continuing out research and learning more about the area. Once we complete our survey and research, we will solidify our concept and begin the business plan.

Check back next week to find out what we come up with!

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Closing the eBook for now.

As we near the end of the semester, and our work draws to its end, we put the final touches on our projects.  We take our research and, in keeping with the artistic nature of the class, put our personal take into the work

Beyond even the ebook itself, we have also chronicled our progress and our process to report a legacy, so that any future students of the course that take an interest in our work can have a groundwork, that they will not have to guess at how to approach the subjects and the work as a whole.  We have outlined the obstacles that we faced so that anyone that takes up this work will be better able to circumvent them.  Most importantly, we have discussed the potentially confusing nature of the goal of the project, which is to do the research to discover rather than prove, so that any future students might not struggle for words to explain their intent, whether they choose to examine Tourism, Pollution, Land, Music, or another subject of their own choosing.

picture from: Internet Money Secrets

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Just Follow the Music.

Tim1

Tim, playing his ukulele at the EcoHouse

At such a culturally diverse university in such a culturally diverse city like Windsor, we are constantly exposed to an almost cacophonous blend of different designs, traditions, and music.  As a result, we don’t always take the time to stop and really look and listen to all that is around us.  This raises the question, what is it that we are missing, and what might we learn if we took the time to open our eyes and ears?

In order to answer this rather broad question, it was necessary to narrow it down to just one element, since it would take far more than the scope of this six-week class to examine the whole of the cultural tapestry of Windsor.  So, to expedite the research, the focus was narrowed down to music.

While only narrowing it down to music may make it sound as though it remains too broad, it allows for a lot of freedom to go wherever the music may lead, and learn whatever there might be to learn everywhere we go.  The ultimate goal of this research is not to prove any particular point or hypothesis, but to go out, collect stories; songs; and opinions about the city and its music, and discover what narrative lies beneath.

When in doubt, listen for music, and see what it tells you.

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Sound Incubator: Growth and Process

The gestation of the sound incubator has been one of creative discovery, beginning with our humble desire to create silence in order to better understand how sound effects the human condition–and evolving into an exploration of using transformational techniques to turn shipping pallets from trash to shields against the omnipresent traffic noise.

The idea began simply enough, we would create a wall between the student population and the intruding sound that would help improve the quality of life of the students as they traversed the desire path that has formed in front of the LeBel building.

Utilizing eco-friendly materials and principles of resonance, we had hoped to create an island of serenity in a sea of noise. Consequently we began to gather the materials, seen above, principally pallets, but also scrap wood of varying sizes.

The pile grew, and eventually construction began. In the intervening time our intention changed, through conversation and exploration of the nature of noise we gradually came to view the project as an attempt to create a pocket park, where students could rest and be shielded from the passing trucks. We built the wall with this concept in mind, including a weaving technique of thin strips of wood through the pallets to create something similar to a wattle, which (along with daub) became our chosen method for filling in the wall. This was chosen for its natural feel and low-environmental impact, as well as being an interesting way to transform our mundane materials into something more.

During today’s class, Stephen and I (Kevin Kapustiak) met with our instructors to further define the project, and discussed the future of the Sound Incubator. Ultimately we knew that our intentions were good, and methods had the potential to work–but we didn’t really know what would happen. Accordingly, the project became more exploratory in nature. A multitude of methods on a number of single-pallet panels, including the aforementioned wattle and daub, sod, plaster, and even newspaper have been discussed as potential sound barriers–and each will be tested in this new incarnation of the sound wall.

In the next few days, things will rapidly take shape and our logistics materials will become something more than they are.

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The Window Farms are almost complete!

The hydroponic window farm is almost complete. I’ve painted the bottles and installed a row of three bottles in order to test the pump system and the structural integrity of the structure.

So far there are no leaks, it’s holding up well and the water is flowing properly. I used weeds found outside to put in the clay pellets until we get plants.

Next, the team will be assessing what works within the design and move on to complete the rest of the farm, including: getting plants, hydroponic solution and possibly a temporary light system in order to keep plants alive in their current locaiton.

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Setting the Pace

After a solid midterm presentation, the E-motorcycle team is setting a great pace in the second half of the semester. The team, with clear design specifications in mind, is busy contacting all electronics suppliers in the Windsor area, looking for donations of parts and materials. For the most part companies have been positive and willing to support the project. However, a source on key components such as a 4 horsepower motor and deep cycle batteries, have yet to have been located. To be successful, the team must acquire all essential mechanical and electrical components in very short order.  This would allow the design rendering shown below to have a chance of being realized this semester. The E-motorcycle team hopes that their example of hard work and enthusiasm will be infectious within the Green Corridor class, and thus leading to several worthy projects. The rendering shown below is what the final motorcycle could look like, if the frame was gold-chromed and sat on an Italian street.

Conceptual Design of the Electric Motorcycle

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Going the Extra Mile

After the winter study break, the E-motorcycle team is re-charged and pushing forward to realize the dream of an electrically powered motorcycle. In the coming days the team will be busy contacting companies for donations and in-kind materials. This is the most important step in the completion of the project. Once all the required parts are procured, the bike will come together very quickly. In addition to this, the team is considering ways to incorporate innovative green energy solutions into the bike. This includes, but is not limited to, solar panels and wind energy for in-operatioin re-charging. Also, deep cycle battery technology is being considered to extend the life-time between charges. The CAD model of the rolling chassis is now complete. A screen shot of this can be seen below. This will be used as a tool to place the components in the chassis once the team knows the dimensions of components that they will be using. The team has hard work ahead of them but will persevere.

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On Track

We, the E-Motorcycle team, are taking the next steps required to have an operating machine by the end of the semester. We are currently heavily involved in the procurement phase. We have been in contact with Windsor Starter’s Powerhouse in regards to possible solutions to get electric power to the ground. We visited the location on Thursday and received valuable information about all the electrical components of the system. Currently, team member Albion, shown below, is creating the Catia drawing of the motorcycle. This model will be a useful tool to virtually position the batteries and electric motor and other components inside the chassis. This will also help to design for an even weight distribution for the bike. The rest of the team is costing out required parts for all possible solutions. We are definitely on track for success.

Albion drawing the motorcycle chassis with Catia

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Rolling Along

We, the E-Motorcycle team, are continuing to make progress in the construction of an electric motorcycle. With the old gas engine out of the chassis, we are moving forward towards the procurement of an electric motor, batteries and voltage controller. Simultaneously, we are drafting a rough drawing of the final product using Catia. A CAD model should be out in the coming weeks. Calculations have been performed to estimate horsepower required of the motor to achieve a given desired top speed. In the picture below we are weighing the rolling chassis of the bike in order to better estimate the final weight and the voltage characteristics required for a comfortable ride. Our team is definitely rolling along nicely!

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The Road Ahead

Our E-Motorcycle team has been busy planning and organizing to complete our goals. We have begun extensive research into the different methods that a shaft drive motorcycle, such as ours, can be converted from a gasoline engine to an electric motor drive. One possibility we have found, example shown below, uses the electric motor shaft (top left) as a countershaft and provides torque to the driveshaft (bottom right) via a belt. Another possible solution is to mount the electric motor in line with the driveshaft. We are currently working on removing the original engine from the chassis and should have this completed tomorrow. It is our intention to sell this engine to help fund the purchase of an electric motor, batteries and other required materials to complete this project. Our team is excited to tackle the challenges that lie in the road ahead.

Power is supplied to the driveshaft from a belt; Picture Courtesy of http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-build-a-96-Volt-Electric-Motorcycle/step3/Connecting-the-Motor-to-the-Drive-shaft/

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