3d Printer for ice. From left: Marcus Kullerstedt, Asutay Altay, Daniel Olovsson, Marcus Liljegren, Pedram Hajigholi and Mikael Eriksson.

Spectacular innovations in project course

Published: 20 March 2014

A 3D printer for snow and an electric trolley. This years project course Sustainable Living, which is part of the Master Programmes in Sustainable Energy Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, included very exciting innovations.

– The key with the 3d-printer is the nozzle we have developed. The nozzle should be able to connect on an industrial robot to create larger geometries of ice, like boxes of ice to transport fish. The "printer" is fed with snow that is atomized, and by means of a fan blowed through a tube and mixed with water from another hose. It becomes a slush that freezes very quickly, says Marcus Gullerstedt reading the third year at the Master Programme in Mechanical Engineering.

Electric-powered trolley. From left: Jakob Sandblom, Viktor Semberg, Alexander Johansen, Tobias Hultqvist, Astrid Sjöström, Simon Brännvall, Jonathan Petersson, Tobias Thorvaldsson and Daniel Rung.

Railway trolley competition

Another new feature in the course was the motorized trolley built by a group of nine students studying the Master Programme in Mechanical Engineering. It will be used in the competition Delsbo Electric, which will be held on May 24. The competition is about to have the most energy efficient rail vehicle at a distance of 3.36 km.

– It's a really fun project where we had to test various techniques and stick to a schedule and budget. We appreciate that the university gives us the means to build the vehicle and enter the competition. The competition aims to showcase the trains extreme energy efficiency. The motor we are using have a very high efficiency, up to 95 percent, compared with a car engine which is around 30 percent, says project manager Jonathan Peterson, student at the Master Programme in Mechanical Engineering. 

De-icing of wind turbine. From left: Petter Lundqvist, Simon Wounder, Stefan Lindstedt, David Ämtér, Patrik Valfridsson, Jakob Nömm and Mikael Turesson.

Expanding wings

On the topic of energy saving was also another project that was about to make the de-icing of wind turbines more effective. In winter, wind turbines have problems with the formation of ice on the wings. Today the ice is remowed by stopping the wind turbine and heating the wings by using electricity. This results in up to 10 percent loss in the production of electricity.

– Our solution involves a rubber profile built into the wing that is inflated with compressed air. This means that ice can be blasted away, which is more energy efficient and minimizes downtime. What remains before being ready for implementation is to find a UV resistant rubber, it may possibly also work with a composite material, says project leader James Nömm, student at the Master Programme in Sustainable Energy Engineering.

Among the other projects were a product that converts heat from a campfire to electrical energy, an innovative solar thermal systems and a solution to use the energy generated by exercise equipment. The students in the different groups agreed that it was fun and rewarding to bring together skills they learned from previous courses, from mechanics to electronics.