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Senior Design 04-05: Team 4

pump cylinder motor


People living on the Zuni Native American Reservation in Taos, New Mexico currently use lumber to heat their homes. Heat provided from burning lumber is substantial, but the lumber supply is not. STP would like to aid in the process of providing more affordable, energy efficient housing. One solution for energy efficient housing are Earthships. An Earthship is a home with walls made of recycled tires. Part of the process of building these homes involves filling the tires with soil to a high density and using them for insulation and wall structure. During the day, the tires absorb radiated heat from the sun and then release that heat during the night. The results provide a fairly consistent room temperature in all seasons. The downfall to building one of these homes is the exhausting amount of manual labor which deters helping hands and also accounts for 30% of the overall building cost. Working together with our contact, James Kuiper - a teacher at the Zuni Christian Reformed Mission School, we are planning on providing an easier and more cost effective method to building earthships at the construction level. Our goal is to create a device that can fill a tire and compact the soil in less time than it takes to fill them by hand.

We would like to thank the following people for their valuable time to assist us in our project: click here.

Final Design Video

3-D Computer Model

Project Preliminary Feasibility Study

Final Report

Team Bios

David A. Allen, ME -- Jeremy S. Hanson, ME -- Chris J. Wiesehan, ME -- Joshua S. Lester, EE