ENE 202 Student Design Projects Tackle Campus Sustainability Challenges

Posted on September 11, 2017

In last spring’s course, ENE 202: Designing Sustainable Systems taught by Dr. Forrest Meggers, eight teams of students gained hands-on experience with designing and testing solutions to address sustainability challenges on campus. A summary of the design projects is provided below:

red light green light example Red Light – Green Light System

Grant Ackerman ‘19, Jackson Forbes ‘18, Myesha Jemison ‘18, and Winny Myat ‘18 proposed the following solutions to promote water and energy conservation in bathrooms: 1) Install/replace aerators for high-flow sinks, especially those in Mathey College 2) Red Light - Green Light behavior-changing visual system indicating water usage at the sink or shower to raise awareness about water consumption and promote water-saving habits 3) Water recapture system that would redirect waste water from the sink and shower to the toilet bowl for flushing and 4) Heat recapture system that uses heat exchangers and thermal energy from drain water to cut energy needed to produce hot water.

unshuttr visual Unshuttr prototyp

Allison Glossinger ’19, Matthew Marquardt ‘20, Brendan Bowling ‘18 and Nick Callegari ‘20 aimed to reduce energy from dorm room lighting systems during times when lights are left on with no occupancy or when there is sufficient natural light. Their solution was a reflective, solar-panel powered shutter system called “Unshuttr” that uses occupancy and light data to adjust shading in order to maximize the amount of natural light entering a room. Unshuttr also features compostable or recyclable materials to reduce waste at the product’s end life.

microturbines on building View of Scudder Plaza with proposed microturbines on adjacent buildings

Julian Perez ‘19, Joshua Freeman ‘18, and Matt Wylie ‘19 investigated whether microturbines could provide meaningful emission reductions on Princeton’s campus. Although the team’s research and data analysis showed that wind speeds are too low to produce large amounts of power for campus buildings, they found supporting evidence for a wind tunnel effect in certain locations on campus where microturbines could provide supplemental energy for buildings or outdoor charging stations. Frist South Lawn and Scudder Plaza are promising locations, but other untested locations include the Princeton Stadium, Fine Hall, and Jadwin Gym. 

Hannah Waxman ‘19, Theo Dimitrasopoulos ‘17, and Dan de Groot ’19 researched whether solar powered golf carts can replace gas/electric ones and still meet the needs of Facilities, Dining Services, and OIT departments. They found that retrofitting plans are viable and can be executed with the suggested solar panel, battery pack, and usage system, but quantitative and qualitative data on golf cart usage indicated that additional vehicles would need to be purchased to account for cloudy days when carts need to be stationary in order to charge. The students also proposed a CartShare app, modeled after the Zagster bikeshare program, as a fleet management tool to allow students and staff to more easily find and reserve available carts.

Diagram of how to create a compost culture Creating compost culture

Charlene Liu ‘19, Majida Halaweh ’19, and Stephen Bork ’18 sought to address the unnecessary amount of waste generated during Late Meal in the Frist Gallery. Their “Creating Compost Culture” solution proposes switching Frist food gallery take-out containers to compostable containers from World Centric and including a module in the Princeton mobile app for compost bin locations. 

diagram of how to harness energy from rowers Watt Farming

Watt Farming: Adam Ainslie ‘17, Alex Cavoli ‘20, and Heather Milke ‘19 suggest harnessing kinetic energy from the crew team’s ergs to meet the energy needs of the boathouse. The team estimates that 20% of the boathouse’s monthly energy use during the winter could be met by erg energy which could be stored in a battery and used to power speakers, fans, and other small appliances in the building.

Cooling from the Bottom Up: Lauren Auyeung ‘19, Rachel Coe-Scharff ‘19, and McKayla Tyrrell ’20 redesigned a cooling ventilation system for Jadwin Gym to mitigate the effects of overheating during large events like Prom Night or sporting events. They suggest implementing piezoelectric floor technology that generates electricity from applied up and down forces such as jumping or dancing to music. The energy created from the floor pads would then be used to generate a small air conditioner to cool the air in the building.

Educating Children on Sustainability Through a Parklet: Morgan Bell ‘19, Joey Daniels ’20 and Rae Perez ‘19 designed engaging educational visuals for the Princeton Parklet to educate visitors, particularly children, about the relevance, benefits, and costs of renewable energy and ways to improve energy usage in their own lives.