UBC Undergraduate Research

SEEDS gear dryer Baird, Steven; Dickson, Mike; Lau, Jonathan; Pires, Josh


Objectives: UBC Transportation and Planning has asked for a device that will quickly and effectively dry the basic cycling apparel, while using minimal electricity from the grid, for commuters that cycle to the University of British Columbia in wet weather. See Appendix A: Project Abstract for the original project abstract. There are commercially available products that offer decent drying capabilities including the Suitmate Dryers or Spin X dryers. However these products are not designed to minimize their environmental impact, nor are they proven to operate in outdoor climates. See Appendix E: Proposal under Initial Survey of Existing Alternatives for details on these products. To better understand the user expectations of such a device, a web survey was distributed to the users of the UBC bike cages. Survey questions focused on details about the commuter's trip. The web survey questions and choices are detailed in Appendix D: Web Survey. Through this survey cyclists expressed their annoyance with putting on wet/damp gear at the end of their day, verifying the requirement for such a device. For the detailed survey analysis, see Appendix D: Web Survey under Web Survey Findings. Based on the survey results, the team was able to develop a list of specifications and evaluation criteria that the device would have to meet to be deemed a success. The evaluation criteria that was most critical to the project's success was to have an operation time of less than three minutes, consume <200 Watts of power, and have a comparable final dryness to that of the commercially available products. The full list of evaluation criteria can be found in Appendix E: Dossier 4 - Proposal pages 14-15 and a complete list of product specifications is attached in Appendix C: Dossier 2 - Product Specifications. With the evaluation criteria outlined, the team developed various concepts that would complete the functions required. See Appendix G: Dossier 6: Concept Generation for details on the various concepts generated. Through a Weighted Decision Matrix (WDM), attached in Appendix H: Dossier 6 - Concept Selection the team narrowed the design to three major concepts: convective drying, centrifugal spinning, and compressive wringing. These three concepts were tested as part of the Critical Function Prototyping required and the experiments and results are located in Appendix I: Dossier 7 - CFP. From these experiments the team chose to go forward and develop a centrifugal spinner design to complete the task of drying user's clothing. Design and Testing: With the decision to use a centrifugal spinner, the team needed to decide how to transfer the energy from a user powered device, to the vertical spinning basket that would house the wet clothing.[Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”]

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