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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

RIT Solar Hot Water

I am on Spring break finally! The last two weeks were two of the most stressful and sleep deprived weeks I have ever been through. Now that I am done I want to share our progress on the RIT Solar Hot Water project.

Our group presented on Friday February 15, 2008 to our FYE (First Year Experience) class. The presentation went very well and we were congratulated on all our hard work. The FYE instructor said that it was one of the best presentations that she had seen in FYE! She also suggested that we continue on to Imagine RIT!

We did just that! We are officially going to be presenting at Imagine RIT on May 3, 2008. We will be choosing our location on campus soon. The event is free and open to the public; RIT is expecting roughly 30,000 people to attend. The bad part is that I may not be there to present the project at the festival. New York State Championships for rowing is being held that day in Whitney Point, NY and if I am in a boat for that race I will be there. While I would love to attend Imagine, I have been training with RIT Crew for those championship races and do not want to let the team down. Again, I might not be in a boat for that particular day and therefore could attend the festival.

At Imagine RIT we plan on having a visual presentation explaining our concept with more detail and data for an actual installation of a solar hot water system. We also want to build a small solar collector and circulation tank system to show the process of heating water with solar energy. This will only be a proof-of-concept system, if we installed a system on campus it would be professionally built and installed.

We will be starting as soon as possible to raise funding for our project. The solar collector system will cost a good amount of money (at least to college students!) so we want to find sponsors to help with the costs. If anyone reading the blog knows of a company or someone that is willing to help a school project please contact me (my email should be in my profile) and we can talk more about what needs to be done.

The goal of this project is to research the best possible initial installation of a solar hot water project on the RIT campus, present it to the campus, community, and administration, and get a system installed on campus. We are really striving to get this project installed and are working to obtain that goal.

Any support we get will and has motivated us to continue our project. Fitting in the time to do this project is a challenge to all of us. However, we are all passionate about seeing results on campus. Thank you for reading my blog, watching the presentation slide show, and your support for our project.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Finals Week

It's finals week, that explains it all... Studying... well until then feel free to contact me on AIM with the Digsby widget on the left sidebar of the blog. Digsby is an instant message client developed by an RIT alumni company, its in beta testing with RIT students!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Survived Week 10

Wow, I survived week 10. This week was the most insane week I have ever been through here at RIT. I studied like crazy for my physics and calculus tests, I also had an evironmental studies finals and a crew 2k test. From Sunday morning through Thursday morning (3am?) I slept about 7 hours, watched the sun rise twice from the college of science! Onto finals week, lots of studying this weekend after some well needed sleep. After that, spring break in Florida with RIT Crew! Tons of rowing and maybe I will get a chance to visit the Kennedy Space Center... my tech side showing on that comment. I'll post about the solar project when I get a chance to write up a story, I'm still writing up physics labs at the moment!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Week 10 at RIT

Well it's week 10 here at RIT and that means it's the LAST week of classes, exams are week 11. I will try and update the blog when I can, I have some great news about the RIT Solar project! Unfortunately if I tried to write something now I wouldn't be able to put much effort into it so I will wait until more time is available.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

School Club Roundup 2008 - Day 1

School Club Roundup is an annual contest that is aimed for school amateur radio clubs. I started participating in it when my brother Brent and I founded the Chelmsford High School Amateur Radio Club KB1NAY in 2005. Click on the name of this post to find out more info about the contest.

RIT Amateur Radio Club K2GXT Daily Dispatch:

11:46 PM, Monday, February 11, 2008

Operating Hours: 4.34
Voice Contacts: 1
Digital Contacts: 1
Current Score: 9

1 State Contacted:

1 Radio Club Contacted:

So we didn't have much luck. We are pretty sure that our G5RV is "dead" we are in the process of building an Off Center Fed Dipole to replace it (I will post my power point presentation on a later post). Our beam is only made for 20 meters (14 MHz) and higher, it will tune on 40 but we haven't had much luck with that.

The best option we have might be to get on 20 meters during the day and operate, we will see how that works out! Good luck to all those who are participating!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

RIT: Orange, Brown, and Green?

With President Destler running campus this year, he is apparently pushing to make RIT a "greener" campus. From the President's website, he is trying to initiate a movement to produce "...the nation's first "Innovation University"..." by hosting the "Imagine RIT" creativity festival that aims to attract about 30,000 people from the Rochester area.

RIT recently launched the Golisano Institute for Sustainability which from what I can reason would be a stepping stone to "greening" RIT. So with the buzz on campus for a more sustainable outlook to life and industry practices, what better time than now to help out?

I am part of a First Year Enrichment group that is designing a renewable energy alternative for RIT. Our project simply started with an idea for the class project and has grown into an interest to see if our idea is feasible to be implemented on campus.

Our group is researching the idea of providing some of the hot water used in a couple dorms with solar hot water. Hot water is one of the most energy demanding commodities used during the day. According to Solar Roofs, the average electric home water heater can use more energy than the average car per year; only by a little bit, but never-the-less a surprising reality.

Solar hot water is used to pre-heat the water before it enters the water boilers. This reduces the temperature difference that the water heater needs to use energy to heat the water. Groundwater is typically 45 F and the average hot water temperature is roughly 110 F, a difference of 65 F. Even with a solar hot water system that brings the temperature of the water to 50 F during the winter on a cold day, is still saving the energy used to heat the water by 5 F. During the summer, a system could bring the water up to 110 F and provide a relatively large percentage of the hot water during peak usage.

We are working on our final presentation for class and will then, time permitting, push this further and try to gain some support from campus. As I said before, this is a personal interest among the group members. We are only required to provide an outline for class, and we are already computing statistics and other data such as cost. Being Electrical Engineering majors, we are running off of our enthusiasm and hope to learn more from this project while being able to at least stir some interest among the community here on campus.

If there are any comments on this, please feel free to share them!

Friday, February 1, 2008

The K2GXT Clubroom Is Becoming Quite The Station!

The efforts to renovate and set up the club room below the SAU (Student Alumni Union), have made strides of progress. We have added new equipment and the room is turning into a place that is fun to hang out in!

We have received new(er) computers that are much faster than the old ones including LCD flatscreen monitors to replace the old, cumbersome, RF emitting CRT monitors. The computers are being loaded with amateur radio software at the moment. We are installing programs such as:

DX Lab Suite:
-DX Keeper
-DX Viewer
-Spot Collector

Other software such as:

-Pidgin (AIM)
-Alt/Azi rotor control software
-Much more as we get a chance

The room was also furnished with several workbenches, I am pretty sure they are from the Freshman Electrical Engineering Labs, but they are NICE! The main benefits are that they do not come out as far into the room, creating more walk space and they are heavy duty.

So if any student or faculty on campus walks by and the door is open, feel free to stop and find out what K2GXT is all about. After posting this blog on " The College Blog Network" I know there are student from campus reading it and would greatly appreciate feedback or questions about any topics I may post.

Thank you for the interest in K2GXT, reading the blog, and I hope you enjoy the updates about the many activities here at RIT!