Monday, August 4, 2014

JAM: SWURSH LED - Smart Water Usage Reduction Shower Head. Our Final Year Project. Water saving shower head.



I(We) guess one of the reasons why we got together was because of our common interests. The both of us loves nature and the wildlife that inhabits it but we were frightened by the idea that it could all be gone one day. Global warming is widely recognised to be caused by green houses gases(GHGs) by many renowned scientists. The world we lives in runs on electricity generated mostly from fossil fuel and its by-product carbon dioxide is one of the contributing GHGs. We wanted to do our part in saving our environment and thought that alternative, renewable energy could be the answer. That was the very reason why we chose the course.
  Clean Energy Management!
Ngee Ann Polytechnic
A SWURSH prototype.

You might have already known this but this is for those otherwise, In NP, final year students in engineering courses are given an option to either do internship or a student project. We decided to go ahead with a student project because we wanted to do something true to our course, which is to help save our environment. And as an added bonus, doing a project could also mean killing two birds with one stone for us because earlier that year, we applied for an innovation fund to develop our idea and was awarded $2,000 to finish it but have yet to started. 

Great idea aye!?~

As the name implies the SWURSH shower head help users to reduce their water consumption. Water availability is one of our country’s biggest concern. The way we use or manage our water resource can increase or reduce the stress on our water demand & dependency for import. 

Currently water saving measures in Singapore's industries involves coming up with new processes that requires less water for the same work or by recycling used water. Similarly, consumer products like dish washer, washing machine and toilet urinals incorporates new designs and technology to reduce the amount of water required for the same job. What we don't like about this method is that it does not involve the users to save water but rather only involve the product. On the contrary, our project here aims to include the users into the equation by targeting the human psychology to facilitate behavioural changes. We wanted to create a product that can instils water saving awareness in people's minds and hopefully make saving water their second nature.

Just like using a pedometer which count and display the number of steps a person makes to motivate him/her to walk more, our product hope to make users consume less water by providing him/her with the data on their water consumption. We chose to target the daily showering activity because water wastage during a shower is common due to its relaxing nature and also because water usage reduction during this activity can be easily achieved by making users bath for a shorter period of time (behavioural change).



 Video of our working prototype is all the way down!!

Our initial sketch of the showerhead.
Block diagram.
The main hardware components of the SWURSH shower head are a microcontroller – the Arduino, a flow sensor, a solenoid valve, LEDs, Bluetooth module, push button, buzzer and battery. All components are in one way or another connected to the microcontroller as it is the brains in this product. The flow sensor measures the flow rate and transfer this data to the microcontroller and in turns the microcontroller calculates the water consumption. The other components are controlled by the microcontroller and displays, transmits or operates when there is changes to the water consumption.
Testing circuitries. Batteries had to be included in the design because we couldn't solve the micro turbine power source issue.
PCB design using eagles software.
After making everything nice and compact.
We even designed a portable system to display our working prototype.
Finally a video showing a working prototype.
Every LED lighted up on the shower head represents 1 litre of water used. When water consumption reaches 20 litres, the showhead will buzz and the LEDs will blink, signalling the user to stop or hasten his/her shower.
However, in the video above the shower head was programmed to light up 1 LED per 0.1 litres of consumption or else it would have taken forever.




As an added feature (for better grades..) We added bluetooth module to our product and coupled it with an android phone app to monitor consumption to show trends in daily/weekly/monthly usage. 
The reason why we are sharing our idea is because we really want to see it as a real product! We couldn't perfect it but we are sure that someone can! It could really help save tonnes of water! Micro turbine powered Aesthetic LED showerheads are possible. Why not SWURSH? It serves a real purpose!!
Cheers,
JAM!

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing such nice information about waste water.. keep writing..

    Anne Cole
    Waste Water Services

    ReplyDelete
  2. nice invention, hope its relay work .... :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. If any of the above are found it would be wise to contact your water supplier and consider the use of a home water purifier. There is also network of certified laboratories that will perform drinking water analysis. Water testing

    ReplyDelete