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This report outlines the final design for the Will Power Africa 2022-2023 senior design team and how testing proved that the design meets each determined project requirement and constraint. The Will Power Africa team was tasked with designing a reliable and durable off-grid energy generation source to power an electric fence to deter elephants and provide charging capabilities for portable devices intended to be implemented in Tsholotsho, Zimbabwe near Hwange National Park and along the routes of elephant herds. This design would allow the community to grow food protected from elephant raiding and increase general connectivity with easier access to device charging. The team’s design consists of the following subsystems; energy generation, energy storage, system protection, fence, and USB charging device. These subsystems culminate in our final design; a protective waterproof case enclosing a solar panel and lithium battery system powering an electrified fence with an electric fence energizer, 4 external USB outlets for phone charging, and a fan to keep the case cool. The fence is to be constructed in the final location and will be 60’x60’x14’ using wood poles and both high-tension offset electrified wires and spiraled hanging electrified wires.
Design choices were informed by similar design examples, research, and our project requirements and constraints. The project requirements included in this report reflect the final requirements as decided between the team, sponsor, and advisor. Especially in the initial stages of Fall 2022, these were fluid and changed in conversation and agreement with all parties as design plans progressed. Each requirement and constraint is addressed along with its associated test plan and results evaluated by acceptance criteria. Changes in test procedures and criteria and their reasoning are also noted with each requirement. The main changes from the Fall 2022 semester design plans and criteria include; a larger final battery, a greater energy-rated energizer, and a taller final fence planned.
Each project requirement and constraint is detailed further in the report but are as follows; Garden Protection/Elephant Deterrence, Phone charging capabilities, Autonomous overnight protection, Weather durability, Transport Durability, Commercial Flight Size Constraint, User Operation Ease, User Operation Safety, Solar Panel Adjustment and Efficiency, Academic Year Time Constraint, Remote Location Constraint, and Continuous Usage Operation. Testing concluded that our final design met all project requirements that we could test here in San Antonio. Some testing and requirements cannot be fulfilled until in the intended location including transport durability, final fence construction, and further user operation safety. User Operation Safety (or Instructions) Testing still needs to be done and will be included in the final presentation. The following section describes the design objectives, requirements, and subsystems in more detail.
Overall, the Will Power Africa team has created a functional prototype capable of fulfilling all of these requirements. Since all requirements and constraints were fulfilled, there are no immediate changes necessary. Future improvements to the design are expected with the new team beginning work on the project next semester, with specific focus on an alternative means of generating energy aside from solar power `. For the future team, we have provided manufacturing instructions as well as suggestions for improvements to future iterations of the Will Power Africa project.
Lowell, Kira; Geer, Joshua; Adams, Cooper; and Willborn, Luke, "Will Power Africa Final Project Report" (2023). Engineering Senior Design Reports. 64.