Spring 2023 Update

Added by Thomas Hoang 10 months ago

During this spring quarter, SmartTree mainly focused on the construction side of things as we finished up the base pieces and started planning and constructing the solar panels' support system.

We encountered a few problems with our current design choice for solar panel support. From the exploded view of the current model seen below, we initially planned to have three poles converging into a platform, which will house the connection system of our solar panels. However, this approach made unnecessary choices that hindered the support capability as well as made it more difficult to construct, namely the diagonal angle of the pole.

As such, we decided to switch the design to something a bit more simple yet effective in supporting the solar panels. After a lot of brainstorming sessions and consulting with the shop professionals, we have arrived at the design shown in the sketch below. The new design has 3 straight standing poles, connecting beams, and potentially a small garden at the top of SmartTree. This design would also allow an additional solar panel to be present in the electrical system, increasing the power output!

We have settled on this new design and had wished to start construction as soon as possible. However, the materials took longer to arrive than anticipated, so in the meantime, we start on the treatment of wood in the base pieces. This includes staining and varnishing to ensure water resistivity and rot resistance. By the end of the school year, we had completed 2 out of 4 base pieces and will plan to finish the job next quarter.

We also finished up some small construction jobs such as routering the top lid, adding the rubber seal, and water-jetting pole mounting plates in preparation for the new materials to arrive. On the electrical side, we are designing a waterproof box to house all the electrical equipment, which will also be finalized by next quarter.

We have a lot of things planned for the near future and will try to complete the first prototype of SmartTree very soon. Be on the lookout for future updates!

old_st_drawing.png (275 KB) old_st_drawing.png Thomas Hoang, 06/27/2023 05:52 PM
drying_stain.png (2.56 MB) drying_stain.png Thomas Hoang, 06/27/2023 05:54 PM
varnishing.png (2.73 MB) varnishing.png Thomas Hoang, 06/27/2023 05:54 PM
new_design.png (87.3 KB) new_design.png Fay-Ling Laures, 06/29/2023 06:02 PM