Green House – Solution Fluency

(The following is a project on how I could renovate my house to make it more energy efficient.)

1. DEFINE

My company, Byrne Industries has been hired to work on making the Byrne household (our house) more energy efficient. Our house has 3 floors, 9 rooms a garage and about 40 lights. The following are graphs on our electricity usage.

Some things that will be not possible to make more energy efficient is our tech: phones, TVs, computers. My family uses these a lot so it won’t be possible to save power on using our tech less. Another problem is that we can’t turn the heat down to save money because my brother has 2 pet birds that will freeze if it is too cold. All of these things have to be factored in when thinking about how to save electricity.

2. DISCOVER

There are lots of ways people have learned to save money on electricity over the years. Here are some of the things people do.

Adding insulation to the attic

Adding insulation to your attic seals air leaks and makes it less costly to heat and cool your house. The amount of insulation you need to buy varies depending on the size of your house but this stuff is relatively cheap anyways.

Programmable thermostat 

These programmable thermostats lower the temperature of your house when you are away saving money on heating because you don’t need to heat your house when you aren’t even there. These things cost about $220.

Water pipe insulation

To save on water heating costs many people insulate the first 2 meters of their hot water pipes with foam sleeves or insulating wrap. This saves some of your heat escaping through the pipe.

Master plugs & power bars

These are for powering down your devices when you are not using them with just on flick of the switch. This is important to save energy because even when your devices are not in use they still consume standby power.

3. DREAM

Here are some imaginary solutions to the problem.

What if:

• It was possible to absorb the light that is lost after you turn on a light. Like if you had a super efficient solar panel floor ceiling and walls so where ever the light bounced off of it would generate electricity enough to power the light again. Not perpetual light because that is impossible and not light that gets absorbed right away because then it wouldn’t be able to bounce back into our eyes to see.

• My dog’s pee and poo could be turned into energy. For example he could poo on the ground (Like he always does in the morning) then the floor would absorb it and break down the atoms into oxygen and extra electrons. This would be amazing because there would be A. no poop, B. more oxygen and C. more electricity.

4. DELIVER

Now enough imaginary solutions. What will actually work for our household? I have put together 3 ideas that will save my family money on electricity.

1. Solar panels on the roof

These aren’t a cheap solution but they help save money on your energy bills. These solar panels are installed on your roof and they save money by generating your own electricity. They are also a better alternative to fossil fuels and could qualify you for tax incentives.

Here is a video showing how they work:

Now here is a quote from The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World; “a typical solar panel generates about 400 kWh of electricity per year which, at $0.25/kWh (the average electric rate in California), amounts to $100 of electricity. With 20 solar panels on the roof consumers can reduce their annual electric bill by $2,000. Since each panel costs around $500 to install (including equipment and labor), the payback is only five years.”

This shows that you only need about 5 years in California to get your money back and we get a little less sun so probably only 6-7 years! and In the video it talks about how solar panels last a long time so the money you save will be big.

Pro’s

• Save $2,000 a year.

• A cleaner source of electricity.

• Can qualify for tax incentives.

Con’s

• They are pricey.

• In. places with not much sun their value goes down.

• They take up roof space (this is bad for small houses).

 

2. Storm doors

Since my attic is already nicely insulated we should probably get storm doors to prevent air from seeping in through our doors to save on heating costs.

Storm doors are doors installed outside of your regular doors to better insulate your house, protect your door from the elements and make your house more secure. These doors have have low-emissivity glass or a protective coating and last up to 50 years. Having these doors on your house can help reduce energy loss up to 50% because some doors let out a lot of heat. There is also a lot of options in storm doors to choose from some have full view panels that let you see your entire door while others have a kick plate to protect the bottom section of your door. There are also storm doors that come with grids and dead bolt locks to make you more safe and secure. In warmer weather you can also change out the glass or acrylic part of the door for a mesh net or a solar screen to prevent too much sunlight from coming in.

According to homewyse.com the purchase and installation of a storm door can cost anywhere around $411.68 to $634.80.

Pro’s

• In some cases they can save you up to 50% on your heating bill.

• Your house is slightly more secure.

• In the summer you can change out the glass for a mesh net or a solar screen.

Con’s

• They are a bit pricey.

• If you install them yourself you run the risk of making more heat escape than before.

• You might not be able to find one to mach your tastes in architecture.

3. LEDs

LEDs are the most efficient form of lighting we have. They use 75% less energy than our standard run of the mill incandescent bulbs and last 25 times longer. Here is a chart showing the break down of LED cost.

Now how do LEDs work you might ask? Well they work pretty similar to solar panels. Here is a video explaining it.

Pro’s

• A way more efficient source of light.

• The light is brighter.

• They last way longer.

Con’s

• They are a bit pricey.

• Some people don’t like the slightly bluish colour of them.

What does my family save in the end?

Well if we get the annual cost from the chart at the top $8783.09. Then subtract $2000 from the solar panels, an estimated $100 from the storm doors and $3618 from the LEDs. The annual bill goes from $8783.09 to $3065.09. We save a whooping $5718!!!

Sources

16 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient

https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/electricity-infrastructure/about-electricity/7359

 

https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/ugc/articles/2017/02/03/rise-of-personal-solar-power.html

Storm Doors

 

https://www.homewyse.com/services/cost_to_install_storm_door.html

https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/save-electricity-and-fuel/lighting-choices-save-you-money/led-lighting

 

SET BC – Supernatural Riverside Project On Littering

(The following is a video I made with my friends Karl Disu and Jasmine Gill. The video’s target audience is Riverside students and the topic is waste management and what you can do to help with our litter problem.)

Collaboration Fluency Reflection

When we first started in our group we weren’t really working well together and one of our group members was always off task. To help us work better I put our jobs and goals time-wise on the Onenote and this gave us all a clear objective. But that one group member wasn’t doing any work still. So we set a meeting up with all of our group members and Mrs. Jackson and then me and our 3rd group member (not the off task one) made a list of things we need to see from said group member so they could stay in our group. This really changed their mindset and work habits and they ended up doing their share of the work and a bit more. They even wrote the whole script! (me and Karl are not very confident in our script writing skills). After that our project and collaboration was a breeze. We got lots done and were ahead of most of the people in the class. That one meeting was a big turn around for the group and this group couldn’t have done well without it.

Core Competency Science 9

Carbon Story

(The following is a short story I wrote relating to the carbon cycle)

Hi I am a carbon atom and this is my life story. I started out beside my two parents Oxygen 1 and Oxygen 2. Together we are carbon dioxide, a colourless, odourless gas produced by burning carbon and organic compounds and by cellular respiration. Speaking of cellular respiration that’s how me and my parents came into this world. We were breathed out by a human. Humans obtain energy by breaking down carbohydrates. This requires oxygen and produces carbon dioxide. After that we were part the atmosphere, the gas that surrounds the world. Soon after, we got absorbed by a type of carbon sink, a fern. Ferns are carbon sinks because they absorb carbon and store from the atmosphere. In a process called photosynthesis I was taken away from my parents (they went back into the atmosphere) and mixed with water and sunlight to make some carbohydrates for the fern to eat. Later the fern used me as a carbohydrate to form part of a leaf. The fern eventually got flooded over by a near by river causing sediment build up on top of the fern. After 300 million years of slowly decomposing from bacteria under heat and pressure of being forced underground I was turned into coal. The bacteria is what we call a decomposer because they help decompose or decay organic matter. Later on some humans mined me up to use in their factories (wow humans still exist and they still use coal!). Factories are carbon sources because they release carbon into the atmosphere. Now I was back in the atmosphere and back with my parents as a carbon dioxide. But that didn’t last long. I got diffused from the atmosphere and into the ocean.
Turning into dissolved carbon dioxide, which is just carbon dioxide but dissolved into the ocean. Soon after a phytoplankton took me in to make nutrition. In the phytoplankton I got separated again from my parents. But later when a small fish ate the phytoplankton and died, me and my parents got put back together and released as carbon dioxide from the fish. After a wile we floated to the top and got back into the atmosphere. Only for a Tree, another carbon sink to absorb me again. Later that year, the forest caught fire, a major carbon release agent and me and my parents were reunited for the last time. Unlike carbon sources carbon release agents are natural. The forest fire I was in was caused by a lightning bolt. Now me and my parents are back together and have been floating around ever since.

Wonder Project

(The following is a project on a question that I wondered about)

What is time dilation?

Time dilation was predicted by Albert Einstein in his theory of special relativity. Time dilation is an effect of special relativity that causes time to move at slower speeds for an object that is moving at high speeds. Einstein’s theory states 3 postulates (rules) relating to time dilation; 1 “the measured length of time between two events depends upon the frame of reference of the observer.”, 2 “the speed of light is a constant and never changes”, and 3 “the laws of physics must be identical for all observers who are either stationary or in constant motion.”

The first postulate means that time can appear slower for moving objects. One example of the first postulate is: The time between a clock changing from 1:00 to 2:00. This is different depending on the frame of reference. Someone standing still will measure the proper time between the clock changing from 1:00 to 2:00; 1 hour. Where as someone moving will measure the time of the clock changing from 1:00 to 2:00 to be longer. Meaning that in the space they are in, time is moving slower for them and faster for the other person. The second postulate means that even if you are experiencing time moving slower because of time dilation you and someone that is stationary will both measure the speed of light to be the same speed. Lastly The third postulate looks something like this example: if you were sitting in a windowless vehicle moving at a constant speed you will have no way of telling if you’re moving or not Because all physics experiments would turn out the same if the vehicle was moving at a constant speed or if it was not moving at all.

(Here is a video with more information on time dilation)

The twin paradox is a thought experiment that involves special relativity. In this thought experiment one twin, twin A stays on earth and the other twin, twin B rides a space ship away from earth and back close to the speed of light. Time on twin B’s watch moves slower than twin A’s watch because of time dilation. When B returns A has aged quite a bit and B has aged very little. One rule of special relativity that explains this is: “time dilation should be symmetrical (relativity of uniform motion)” Neither A or B is in a privileged frame of reference so A sees B move so B’s clock should slow but, B travels at a constant speed so from B’s perspective A is moving away so A must be slower. So how is A older when B gets back? A ages because A and B were not in constant motion relative to each other. B’s ship turns around midway to go back to earth. This introduces a 3rd reference frame which breaks the time symmetry. There’s gap in B’s timeline which A doesn’t see as B changes direction and changes reference frames at the midway point. This gap is why A is older when B returns to Earth.

(Here is a video with more information on the twin paradox)

The effects of special relativity aren’t really a big deal since us humans can only move at slow speeds. People moving high speeds like the people in the international space station experience time a bit slower. If you spent some time in the space station, when you return to earth you would be younger than you would have been if you had stayed on earth. The bad news in you would only be younger by a few milliseconds (1/1,000ths of a second). Peggy Whitson has the longest time dilation out of any woman. She is a whopping 0.0092 seconds younger! To do this she spent 377 days orbiting earth. Coming in first place for longest time dilation ever is Sergei K. Krikalov with a time dilation of 0.02 seconds! He got this from 803 days orbiting earth.

So in conclusion time travel is possible if you have a super fast space ship but, we don’t have that yet so we cannot time travel into the far future but, we can time travel a few milliseconds into the future. I’m happy I was able to learn about this topic that I have had on my mind ever since watching the interstellar move. I wondered why time in that movie was all messed up with some astronauts having aged quite a bit, while others only having aged a day but now I understand. It was because of time dilation. Now that I think about it time dilation was about the only scientific thing about that movie. Thanks for giving me the time to research about a topic that I’m interested in Mrs. Jackson. I’ve really learned a lot from this project.

Bibliography

• “Time dilation.” World of Physics, Gale, 2001. Science in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CV2434500533/SCIC?u=43riss&xid=02e16fb5. Accessed 7 Feb. 2018.

• Szokan, Nancy. “A benefit of space travel: It makes you younger.” Washington Post, 9 Dec. 2014. Science in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A392963907/SCIC?u=43riss&xid=a8a8e353. Accessed 7 Feb. 2018.

• “Twin paradox.” World of Physics, Gale, 2001. Science in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CV2434500543/SCIC?u=43riss&xid=16e94ab8. Accessed 8 Feb. 2018.

Information fluency reflection

1. What questions did you need to research in order to research your topic?

The first question I came up with was: “why is time different on other planets” but, this question was a bit too broad so I started googling things relaying my topic. After I wile I realized that my question was a very hard to answer question so I asked Mrs. Jackson about in class and she recommended I do the project on time dilation and the twin paradox instead. So I searched up questions about the twin theory and time dilation.

2. What new or familiar digital tools did you try to use as you worked through this project?

I used Google and Youtube to get some background info, Pages to write down my sources and notes, EasyBib to write a bibliography and Edublogs to post my project. These were familiar digital tools. To get the information that I used in the project I used some new tools: Destiny Discover and Gale Engaged Learning.

3. What was the process you used to investigate the topic?

To investigate the topic, I first used Google and Youtube to learn some background information on my project. Second, I used Destiny Discover and Gale Engaged Learning to get some reliable information on the topic. Third, I used Pages to make some notes and Lastly I put my notes together into full sentences and paragraphs.

4. How did you verify and cite the information you found?

I verified the information I found because it was on a reputable site: Gale Engaged Learning and it had all the authors publishing dates and companies all laid out for me to see. (Bad sites don’t do this.) To cite my information I used an easy and free bibliography making site: EasyBib. I just had to write in all the information and EasyBib made a bibliography for me.

5. How did the process of completing this challenge go? What could you have done better?

The process to complete this challenge was kind of a bumpy road. I found lots of info on gale engaged learning but most of it was too complex to understand. Eventually I found some easier to understand info and took some notes. The second hard part was really putting my newly learned info into my own words. This was hard because there was a lot of information and I had to make easy to understand for my classmates. I think next time I couldn’t do better I really put a lot of my hard work into this project because I was passionate about what I was learning.