Below are some pictures of my final product.
Explain how it didn’t work using scientific terminology
There are two possible reasons for my not-working project being the way it is. The first reason is that the motor did not have enough power to generate enough electricity. Because theoretically, if I turn the hand crank enough the kinetic energy is converted into an electric current in the dynamo, and the entire motor generates electricity. The electricity generated goes into the wires connected to the rectifier. Then it goes to the other side of the rectifier connected with the zener diode, resistor (the resistor and diode stop the electricity from going to the wrong way), and at last, it goes into the other two wires from the USB port. After the electricity goes into the wires of the USB port, the phone plugged in could be successfully charged. However that did not happen, upon further conversation with Mr.Costa it might be because I did not turn the motor enough so it didn’t generate enough electricity. One way for me to make the motor generate enough electricity is to just crank it at a really high speed for a long time, then maybe it can generate enough electricity. Sadly, that is not realistic because another suggested hypothesis is that this might not have happened only because I didn’t turn the motor enough, but because it just isn’t strong enough to charge the phone at the first place. A human arm was probably too weak to power the 12-volt motor. The second reason for my phone charger not working is probably because some parts of my wiring in the rectifier section is a little bit off. I might’ve soldered the zener diode and the resistor to the wrong wires and parts which resulted in random short circuits that stopped the system from working.
Explain the areas you were successful in the product/process
I feel personally successful in the aesthetics of this product. It is very neatly cut out and put together in a box. The dimensions are perfect and the boards match and fit with each other. All the important parts (the hand crank and the USB port) sticks out of the box and the rest of the messy wires are hidden. The box is definitely not a sore for the eye and I’m happy with it. I feel like I was also successful with the color I used for the box, it’s a plain simplistic white that is always classic and the color could be altered by the customer if they did not like it. It might not fit the definition of beautiful, but definitely acceptable and neat.
I also feel successful with the adjustments I made to my project which is first changing the material to a lighter one, then shrinking the dimensions and lastly substituting a long list of steps making a hand crank to using an already made hand-crank+ motor. My adjustment on decreasing the weight of the product really serves one of my first purposes of creating this product: making it easily portable. It is lighter than most of the power banks you use in real life. Secondly, it’s way smaller than the one created in the procedure, I shrank the size down to the smallest possible just because I didn’t want to make it unnecessarily big and takes up a lot of space. My last adjustment being successful also relates to my time management skills. Not only did I got an all-in-one packaged material that is originally made up from bits and pieces, but I also gained a lot of more time. This leads to the last thing I feel personally successful for: my time management skills. I had a really tight schedule as seen in journal 2. First I had China cup (I miss 1 class) and then I can only go to 1 workshops session due to basketball practice and JPAC. But I propelled myself to strictly follow my work schedule and even squeezed out a 2-hour workshop at the FAB lab the night before I left for JPAC. I even took my project with me to JPAC to finalize some things. At last, I was able to finish my product on time. One more thing I feel pretty successful about is that I ensured the safety of my product. The hand crank is plastic and does not transfer electricity. The point of the zener diode and the resistor is to prevent a short circuit or irregular electric currents going into the other side. The amount of volts generated is also strictly regulated by the resistor. I am happy that my product had no threat towards costumers.
Explain the areas you need to improve in the product/process
Just because I had some success in my product/process, it doesn’t mean I don’t have anything to improve on. I actually have a lot of improvements that I am willing to make the next time I work on a project like this. Firstly, I feel like next time I should really try to keep myself composed mentally before I partake in any hasty decisions. Because at the start of the project I kind of panicked because I didn’t have a lot of materials, before thoroughly checking if ISB has them I ordered them on Taobao. Later on, I found out ISB does have them and I had to ask for a refund. A calm and composed mindset is what I really need next time because it will help me in all kinds of projects and even in my life. Another area I would like to improve on is my wiring skills. When I wired my rectifier together I knew what I was doing. Mr.Beatty gave me a lot of help, but I feel like something has still gone wrong. Maybe it is because I lack basic knowledge of mechanics and I accidentally messed something up because there was probably a mistake in my wiring. I would really need and love to improve my knowledge on the output/input, negative and positive sides, ––––basically the entire spectrum of wiring things next time.
Explain the impact of this project on the environment and potential client/consumer.
My muscle powered phone charger could potentially have a lot of impact on the environment because of its source of energy being renewable energy. The key power to this phone charger is kinetic and mechanical energy. The kinetic energy of your arm moving (muscle power) is affecting the gear (mechanical energy) and that energy is converted into electricity throughout all the wires in the interior that finally charges the phone. The phone charger exists and works on its own without a plug-in board. Each plug-in board is made out of plastic and all kinds of chemicals, they all contribute to the trashcan after they can no longer be used. However, theoretically, the muscle powered phone charger would never run out of power because the power itself used to charge the phone is generated by the muscle power of the costumer. Furthermore, it also uses some fairly simple and fewer materials. The exterior and interior formation isn’t really complicated and does not require more than around 10 materials. The potential client of this product could be anyone! It could be for someone who wants to live a lifestyle with a bit more exercise in their life (charging up their phone whilst exercising their arm muscles). It could be for someone from a developing area with no stable electricity to plug their phone in and has to have an alternate plan. It could be for a backup product for any family in case a tornado, storm or snow cuts out the electricity in their home. All in all, this product is suitable for anyone.