Following last week's change of plans, the team spent this week reviewing our original design ideas and preparing for our midterm report. Adam in particular was very busy, crafting our new plan for the rest of the term, focused on preparing for a summer of testing in Malaysia.
For the next few weeks we will focus on reviewing our original design ideas and determining which ones could be adapted for testing by Latifah. From this we will produce a comprehensive budget for the summer work, and determine a plan for the summer.
From our original review of our winter quarter designs, we noticed that we had mainly focused on smaller designs that could easily be assembled for a quick prototyping process. However this summer we are focused more on a permanent, proof of concept design. Specifically our aim is to determine whether cacao pods can produce a biochar that can be used to help communities in some capacity, either as a fertilizer, water filter, or other use. With this in mind, we decided that it may be more useful to construct a larger scale converter that could be used to produce larger quantities of biochar through out the summer.
However Wenxi pointed out a number of obstacles that come with constructing a larger scale design. Specifically, a number of things that we had ignored as low risk, such as convection currents, even heating through out the material, and exhaust gases, become much more significant factors on a larger scale that need to be properly accounted for. With this in mind, we decided to split into two groups moving towards next week. The first group of four will look further into large scale designs and how to construct them. The second, smaller group will construct a rough budget for the summer that we can continue to edit as the term progresses.