Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Robert Erikson

Description

Recreational vehicles that utilize renewable energy sources present attractive benefits for off-the-grid living and traveling including increased accessibility to power, weight reduction, and a decreased carbon footprint. Dr. Robert Erikson requested a custom tow-behind camper that is simpler, lighter, and more aerodynamic than existing designs. The camper utilities design included the plumbing system, electrical system, and general layout of the vehicle. Plumbing system design involved heat transfer calculations for a solar collector and component selection to eliminate the need for gas driven heaters and pumps. Electrical system design encompassed selecting photovoltaic cells and a battery bank capable of storing and delivering power during off-the-grid operation. The interior layout of the camper was designed to create an ergonomic space that ensures reliability and safety. A mock-up interior of the camper was built with adjustable solar panels, charging stations, and a solar water heater as a proof-of-concept.

Comments

Oral Presentation, Honors Program

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Custom Camper Utilities Design

Recreational vehicles that utilize renewable energy sources present attractive benefits for off-the-grid living and traveling including increased accessibility to power, weight reduction, and a decreased carbon footprint. Dr. Robert Erikson requested a custom tow-behind camper that is simpler, lighter, and more aerodynamic than existing designs. The camper utilities design included the plumbing system, electrical system, and general layout of the vehicle. Plumbing system design involved heat transfer calculations for a solar collector and component selection to eliminate the need for gas driven heaters and pumps. Electrical system design encompassed selecting photovoltaic cells and a battery bank capable of storing and delivering power during off-the-grid operation. The interior layout of the camper was designed to create an ergonomic space that ensures reliability and safety. A mock-up interior of the camper was built with adjustable solar panels, charging stations, and a solar water heater as a proof-of-concept.