Group Project Proposal (Science)
SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, SINGAPORE
INVESTIGATIVE SKILLS IN SCIENCE
Names: Sim Hng Anh
Group Reference: G
1. Indicate the type of research that you are adopting:
[ ] Test a hypothesis: Hypothesis-driven research
e.g. Investigation of the anti-bacteria effect of chrysanthemum
[ ] Measure a value: Experimental research (I)
e.g. Determination of the mass of Jupiter using planetary photography
[ X ] Measure a function or relationship: Experimental research (II)
e.g. Investigation of the effect of temperature on the growth of crystals
[ ] Construct a model: Theoretical sciences and applied mathematics
e.g. Modeling of the cooling curve of naphthalene
[ ] Observational and exploratory research
e.g. Investigation of the soil quality in School of Science and Technology, Singapore
[ ] Improve a product or process: Industrial and applied research
e.g. Development of a SMART and GREEN energy system for households
2. Write a research proposal of your interested topic in the following format:
Title: Investigation of the effect of weight on the efficiency of the hydrogen car.
A. Question being addressed
The world is moving faster than ever. People are getting richer. Everyone’s spending power is becoming higher. Cars nowadays are very affordable and it is almost a necessity for every household to have a car. Cars are one of the main air polluters on Earth (CA.gov, Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Automotive Repair, 2010)(Refer to Figure 2). As the number of cars on our roads increases every day (Refer to Figure 1)(Naked Capitalism, 2014), more fuel would be burnt in order to allow cars to run. As fuels are burnt, carbon dioxide is produced. The amount of trees and plants on the planet is not enough to remove carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the atmosphere fast enough. Air pollution in many countries are becoming from bad to worst. Global warming is on going at an alarming rate. The world is experiencing the impacts of air pollution and global warming everywhere. An example of these impacts would include the melting of the polar ice caps (National Snow & Ice Data Centre, 2014). As such, people have been trying to find alternative energy sources. Recently, they have discovered a new source of energy, hydrogen. Hydrogen is the simplest element. An atom of hydrogen consists of only one proton and one electron. It's also the most plentiful element in the universe. Despite its simplicity and abundance, hydrogen doesn't occur naturally as a gas on the Earth - it's always combined with other elements. Water, for example, is a combination of hydrogen and oxygen (H2O) (Renewable Energy world.com, 2014). Thus, scientists have created a vehicle called Fuel Cell Vehicle (also known as a hydrogen car).
Figure 1 - Number of cars over (Naked Capitalism, 2014)
Figure 2 - Sources of Air Pollution (CA.gov, Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Automotive Repair, 2010)
Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV).
A Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) (refer to Figure 3 Below) is a type of vehicle which uses a fuel cell to power its on-board electric motor. Fuel cells in vehicles create electricity to power an electric motor, generally using oxygen from the atmosphere and hydrogen. Fuel cell vehicles that are fuelled with only hydrogen, emit only few pollutants, mainly water and heat. The type of fuel cells that cars uses are the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC).
The proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) uses a water-based, acidic polymer membrane as its electrolyte, with platinum-based electrodes. PEMFC (refer to Figure 4 below) cells operate at relatively low temperatures (below 100 degrees Celsius) and can tailor electrical output to meet dynamic power requirements. Due to the relatively low temperatures and the use of precious metal-based electrodes, these cells must operate on pure hydrogen (FuelCellToday, 2014).
PEMs are well-suited to power applications where quick startup is required, such as automobiles or forklifts. PEM systems are available today for a variety of applications, with sales focused in the telecommunications, data centre and residential markets (primary or backup power), and to power forklifts and other material handling vehicles. PEM fuel cells are also used in buses and demonstration passenger vehicles. PEMs are fuelled with hydrogen gas, methanol, or reformed fuels (Fuel Cells 2000, 2014).
Although fuel cell vehicle is already invented, it is however not common to see a fuel cell vehicle on the road as fuel cell vehicles are regarded as non-cost efficient. Thus we would like to find out how efficient the car is, using a time-velocity graph and weights, to find out whether this form of energy is sustainable in the future and whether it is worth the time to invest in this technology.
Figure 3 - Fuel Cell Car (Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. , 2014)
Figure 4 - PEMFC (FuelCellToday, 2014)
The dependent variable is:
The number of 50 g weights added to the cart which is attached to the car.
The independent variable would be:
- The amount of downforce the car experiences.
- The amount of power needed to allow the car to move.
The constants are:
- The terrain the car would be moving on during the experiment.
- The conditions of the terrain the car would be moving on.
- The distance the car will travel each time.
- The amount of hydrogen gas in the car.
- The model of the car used during the experiment.
Our hypothesis is :
The more the number of 50 g weights added to the cart that is attached to the car, the slower the car would go.
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.)
1 meter ruler
i-H2GO Car Kit
9cm X 13cm
Weights - 50g each
Figure 5 - Photo of Experimental Set-up
Figure 6 - Top View of Experiment Set-up
• Procedures: Detail all procedures and experimental design to be used for data collection
1. Creation of Cart and Modification of Car
- Draw the dimensions of the car.
- Later draw the shapes of the pieces needed on the cardboard using pencil.
- Cut out the shapes of cardboard using a penknife.
- Glue the cardboard together to form the cart using the glue gun.
- Remove the cover of the car.
- Place the cart in front of the car.
- Connect the cart to the car using glue and a metal rod.
- The end product should look like Figure 7.
Figure 7 - End Product of the Modified Hydrogen Car
2. CHARGING THE REFUELLING STATION
Make sure the refuelling station is switched “OFF” when charging. Even if the station produces hydrogen immediately, it is recommended to recharge the unit any time.
SOLAR CHARGING: The refuelling station can be fully recharged using the included Solar Power plant (charge time is 10 hours minimum in direct strong sunlight). 16 hours is preferred for ultimate performance. The refuelling station is fully charged when the right LED light turns green.
USB CHARGING: It will take 5-6 hours to fully charge the refuelling station before use.
It is recommended to recharge the refuelling station any time the unit is not used. The refuelling station is fully charged when the right LED light turns green.
3. ADD WATER
Carefully fill with purified/distilled water to a level covering the “Bubble Outlet”. Even clean tap water will reduce the lifetime of the refuelling station. Avoid overfilling. The approximate amount of water needed to cover the “Bubble Outlet” is 40 millilitres.
4. PRODUCE HYDROGEN
Switch the refuelling station to “ON”. You will notice 2 bright blue LED lights, bubbles coming out from the outlet and the plunger should be slowly rising. When the plunger stops rising and there are no more bubbles, the tank is full and the electrolysis process stops automatically.
5. CONNECT THE CAR TO THE REFUELLING STATION TO CHARGE THE CAPACITOR
Connect the “Hydrogen Hose” to the car’s “Female Input Valve” push lightly until it locks. The left LED in the refuelling station should flash red. When the left LED turns from red to green, the capacitor is fully charged.
6. PURGE THE IMPURE GAS
Check the water window on the back of the refuelling station. If there is water inside, go to step 8 to drain water first.
If there is no water visible inside the window, proceed directly to next step.
a. Switch the car to “OFF”.
b. Press the car’s purge valve down for 1 second and release.
c. Push down the refuelling station’s plunger about 1/3 of the way slowly and carefully to fill the car’s “Hydrogen Balloon”.
d. Press the car’s “Purge Valve” to release impure hydrogen until the “Hydrogen Balloon” is empty. Do this every time when filling the car.
7. FILL THE CAR’S TANK WITH HYDROGEN
a. Slowly and carefully push the plunger all the way down to fill the car’s fuel tank with the remaining hydrogen.
b. Be sure the left LED light in the refuelling station turns green before going to “C”.
c. Disconnect the “Hydrogen Hose” from the “Female Input Valve” – the car’s tank is full of hydrogen but now it needs to be warmed up! Be careful, do not touch the “Purge Valve” while disconnecting the car or purge the hydrogen from the tank.
d. Once the car is fully charged, the hydrogen production will automatically start up again if the station is in the “ON” position. Leave the station “ON” if you want to continue to use the car.
8. WARM-UP THE CAR
This is a very important step for your car to operate correctly.
a. Set the “ON/OFF/WARM UP” Switch on the bottom of the car to the “WARM UP” position.
b. Wait until the hydrogen in the fuel tank is empty.
c. Switch “OFF” the car.
d. Wait until the plunger has finished rising and the bubbles stop. Then complete steps 4-7 a few times. Now the i-H2GO is warmed and ready to go.
9. Pairing of the i-H2GO to the device
a. Turn the ON/OFF/WARM UP Switch to "ON", you can see the blue lights in the car are flashing.
b. Go to Bluetooth in your device's Settings
c. Turn Bluetooth on, it will take a second to search for devices.
d. Select i-H2GO. When prompted for a PIN code enter: 0000 and press “Pair”.
e. Wait until you see it display “Connected”. You can now exit settings and open the i-H2GO application.
10. Controlling of the i-H2GO
Figure 8 - Screenshot of the controller app, iH2GO
- Open the iH2GO app on your iPod.
- Press the speed lock button, pointed by arrow 2, to ensure that the car can travel in a constant speed (Refer to Figure 8).
- Push the “button” pointed by arrow one upwards to the maximum to allow the car to travel at its top speed (Refer to Figure 8).
11. Conducting of Experiment
- Find a 6 meter flat, concrete straight piece of land.
- Place 6 pieces of 1 meter ruler along the length of the 6m land.
- Place a laptop, which is placed on a chair,, at the middle of the length of the 6m piece of land.
- Place the car at one end of the land. Make sure it is beside the rulers.
- Turn on the car.
- Start filming using the laptop.
- Drive the car alongside the 6 meter rulers. Film the car using the laptop, which is place on a chair.
- Ensure that the car moves in a straight line.
- Drive the car all the way until the end of the 6m piece of land.
- Stop the recording
- Add one 50g weight to the cart that is attached to the car.
- Repeat steps F to K until the car is not able to move.
• Risk and Safety: Identify any potential risks and safety precautions to be taken.
Hydrogen is very light and very combustible, so if the container leaks, the hydrogen would flow away, become exposed to an oxidiser (oxygen, etc.) and may cause an explosion.
Ensure that safety goggles are worn before the start of the experiment
Ensure that parts of the car that would contain hydrogen are airtight, properly joint together and that there is no oxidiser in present.
Ensure that there is a fire extinguisher nearby.
Ensure that there is a fit aid kit nearby.
Ensure that the hydrogen is handled with care.
Ensure that all fans are switched off.
Ensure that there are no naked flames and bare wire.
Ensure that the exits doors of the lab are fully unlocked and opened.
Human exposure to hydrogen may lead to asphyxiate, meaning that one would be deprived of oxygen.
Wear a mask at the start of the experiment.
Collisions can cause damage to car
Avoid running obstacles.
Refueling Station will damage if distilled or purified water is not used.
Use only distilled or purified water.
Refuel the car using other refuelling stations other than the one provided may damage the car.
Use only the original refuelling station.
• Data Analysis: Describe the procedures you will use to analyse the data/results that answer research questions or hypotheses
0. Launch the “Tracker” software.
1.Click the Open button or File|Open File menu item and select a digital video (mov, avi, mp4, flv, wmv, etc.), tracker data file (.trk), or zipped tracker file (.zip) to open. You can also open still and animated image files (.jpg, .gif, .png), numbered sequences of image files, and images pasted from the clipboard.
2.Click the Calibration button and select the calibration stick.
Drag the ends of the calibration stick to a video feature with known length (for example, a meter stick). Then click the readout to select it and enter the known length (without units). For example, in the figures below the scale is set in meter units using a video image of a white PVC pipe with black stripes every 10 cm.
Click the Axes button to show the coordinate axes. Drag the origin and/or x-axis to set the reference frame origin and angle. A common choice for the origin is the initial position of an object of interest. For more information see axes, or for alternate ways to set the origin and/or angle consider a calibration point pair, an offset origin or the calibration stick.
The scale and reference frame origin and angle uniquely define the coordinate system used to convert pixel image positions to scaled world coordinates. In some videos the coordinate system properties may vary from one frame to the next (e.g., if the camera is zoomed the scale will change, or if panned the origin will change). Tracker makes it relatively easy to handle such videos--see coordinate system for more information
Click the Create button and choose a track type from the menu of choices. Most moving objects are tracked using a Point Mass track or modeled using a Dynamic Particle Model track.
When tracking an object, mark its position on every frame by holding down the shift key and clicking the mouse (crosshair cursor) as the video automatically steps through the video clip. Don't skip frames--if you do, velocities and accelerations cannot be determined.
Point mass tracks may also be marked automatically using autotracker.
You can always adjust a marked position by dragging it with the mouse or selecting it and nudging with the arrow keys. Right-click the video to zoom in for sub-pixel accuracy.
The Plot View displays graphs of track data. Click the x- or y-axis label to change the variable plotted on that axis. To plot multiple graphs, click the Plots button and select the desired number. Right-click on a plot to access display and analysis options in a popup menu.
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.
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (2014, July 11). Hydrogen: The fuel of the future - today. Retrieved from http://www.hydrogenfuturetoday.com/car.html
Bellis, M. (2014, July 12). Physics Illustrations. Retrieved from http://inventors.about.com/od/sstartinventions/ss/Physics_Illustr_2.htm
Cabrillo (2014, August 15). Tracker Help. Retrieved from https://www.cabrillo.edu/~dbrown/tracker/help/frameset.html
CA.gov, Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Automotive Repair (2010). Air Pollution Sources. Retrieved from http://www.bar.ca.gov/80_barresources/02_smogcheck/air_pollution_sources.html
CarsDirect (2012, October 31). Hydrogen and Fuel Cells vs. Other Gasoline and Electric Powered Vehicles. Retrieved from http://www.carsdirect.com/green-cars/hydrogen-and-fuel-cells-vs-other-gasoline-and-electric-powered-vehicles
FuelCellToday (2014, July 12). PEMFC. Retrieved from http://www.fuelcelltoday.com/technologies/pemfc
Fuel Cells 2000 (2014, July 11). Fuel Cells and Hydrogen. Retrieved from http://www.fuelcells.org/base.cgim?template=fuel_cells_and_hydrogen
Fuel Cells 2000 (2014, July 11). Types of Fuel Cells. Retrieved from http://www.fuelcells.org/base.cgim?template=types_of_fuel_cells
Infoplease (2014, July 11). Air Pollution: Sources of Air Pollution. Retrieved from http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/science/air-pollution-sources-air-pollution.html
Lampton, C. (2008, September 4). HowStuffWorks “Dangers of Hydrogen”. Retrieved from http://auto.howstuffworks.com/fuel-efficiency/alternative-fuels/hydrogen-vehicle-danger1.htm
National Geographic (2014, July 11). Global Warming Effects Information, Global Warming Effects Facts, Climate Change Effects - National Geographic. Retrieved from http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/gw-effects/
National Snow & Ice Data Centre (2014, July 2). Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis. Retrieved from http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/
Nice, K. & Strickland, J. (2000, September 18). HowStuffWorks “How Fuel Cells Work”. Retrieved from http://auto.howstuffworks.com/fuel-efficiency/alternative-fuels/fuel-cell3.htm
Renewable Energy world.com (2014, July 12) Hydrogen Energy. Retrieved from http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/tech/hydrogen
The Economist (2013, August 10). The Economist: China and the environment: The East is Grey. Retrieved from http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21583245-china-worlds-worst-polluter-largest-invest or-green-energy-its-rise-will-have
The Economist (2008, June 21). The power and the glory. Retrieved from http://www.economist.com/sites/default/files/special-reports-pdfs/11570694.pdf
WWF (2014, July 11). WWF- Arctic wildlife. Retrieved from http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/where_we_work/arctic/wildlife/