2011-12


Biochar Cookstove

Nolan Hagge, Benjamin Hofland

Sponsor: Dordt College engineering department

The Biochar Cookstove envisions a world free from unhealthy smoke and painful deforestation pressures brought on by wood-fuel cooking. The project provides experimental research, specifications, and a prototype model of a biochar producing cookstove, focusing specifically on the context of rural Zambia. The social, geographic, and economic contextual factors of the target users come to a head in the need for a fuel efficient, clean emission, inexpensive, and locally made cookstove that is rooted in a culturally appropriate design.


Biological Tissue Tensile Tester

Darrin Beekman, Jake Miller, Ethan Ulrich

Sponsor: Dordt College engineering department

A retrofit design solution will enable Dr. Frisch to investigate the structural properties of pig flexor tendons using Dordt College's tensile tester. Key components of the design include a new, interchangeable grip system, specialized tendon grips, a simpler control program, and improved measurement strategies.


Biomass Waste to Energy

Johnathan Gallagher, Kyle Heidema, Jacob Wieberdink

Sponsor: Pioneer Hi-Bred International

The Pioneer Biomass Combustion team has designed a waste-to-energy system for potential use at Pioneer's Orange City research facility. This system uses a fluidized bed to combust all of the facility's waste corn cobs and seed. This system will provide the client with a source of clean, renewable heat to meet the majority of their heating needs.


Denitrifying Bioreactor

Nathanael Couperus, Steven DeLawyer, Luke Reznecheck, Mark Van Weelden

Sponsor: Rural Water System #1

A denitrifying bioreactor was designed and implemented to mitigate the negative effects of nitrates within agricultural tile drainage water. A water monitoring program was created to investigate the effectiveness of the reactor in order to evaluate whether a bioreactor would be a sustainable solution for similar drainage systems.


Enhanced Fishing Boat Access

Dan Baas, Tyler Buys, James Hondred, Brad Trimm

Sponsor: Dordt College engineering department

The goal of the Handicap Accessible Boat project was to create a lift that could move a physically handicapped person into a fishing boat. The design used a boom assembly attached to the boat trailer for stability and utilized an electric winch to do the lifting. Fabrication was completed by Midwest Metal Works in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.


Fluidized Bed Gasifier Product Stream Treatment

Marty Haverly, Blair Knutson, Brooks Knutson

Sponsor: Dordt College engineering department

The project client, Dordt College engineering department, required for this project that a system for collecting the biochar produced by the gasifier be implemented and another system be used to burn the flammable product stream. These designs will allow for a more complete heat transfer calculation, mass balance calculation, and possible future research opportunity for upperclassmen. The biochar will be collected with a stainless steel cyclone and the flare will be a pilot light design using remote ignition and propane for the pilot light fuel.


Hearing Assistance Induction Loop

Nathan Gross, Karl Makatenas, Josh Pearson

Sponsor: Dordt College engineering department

The goal of the induction loop project was to provide high-fidelity hearing assistance to hearing impaired members of Covenant Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Center, Iowa. This goal was achieved using an amplifier-driven induction loop antenna mounted beneath the sanctuary floor, allowing those with telecoil-compatible hearing aids to listen to the service without excessive background noise.


Kuhl Barn Solutions

Jason Friend, Ryan Kamp, Ben Nydam

Sponsor: Dordt College engineering department

Dordt College has struggled to find a responsible use for the Kuhl Barn on the prairie ground since the time of its donation almost a decade ago. The structural condition of the barn especially has never been critically analyzed to determine the feasibility of any potential re-designs. Following comprehensive structural, socio-historical, and economic analyses, several proposals were developed for the college to consider implementing.


Small Scale Wind Turbine

Sam Du Mez, Eric Heynen, & Mike Woudenberg

Sponsor: Dordt College Engineering Department

The purpose of the small-scale wind turbine project was to improve on the earlier design of the wind turbine on Dordt's campus. The team set out to design, build, and test a small-scale giromill vertical axis wind turbine. The team worked with Dordt College faculty to ensure a project that could be implemented on campus.


Solar Cooling

Bob De Smith, Paul Kleyer, Sam Yang

Sponsor: Dordt College engineering department

The goal of the Solar Cooling team is to explore the potential of using solar thermal energy to power a refrigeration cycle-using renewable energy to provide refrigeration. An absorption refrigerator, which only requires thermal energy to run, was purchased and tested in order to learn about its performance and thermal input requirements. The possibility of using of solar thermal energy for refrigeration was then compared with using photovoltaic panels, which produce electricity.


Water Tower Gin Pole Apparatus

Jordan Loar, Stephen Pederson, Jon Slaber

Sponsor: Maguire Iron

The goal of the GAMI project was to improve upon the concept of a radial scaffold which is used to enable workers to perform water tower tank interior maintenance. Improvements included a pneumatic winch for hoisting the apparatus, a basket at the end of the lift, and a solid truss structure for support. The project team worked with Maguire Iron Inc., a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, company that builds and maintains water towers in 27 states.