Monday, 12 January 2015

Literature Review (Different types of lighting systems suitable for SST)

1. Is there a device that sends a constant voltage to a light bulb so that we can test bulb luminosity with a constant voltage?
We intend to use a voltmeter to measure and adjust the voltage for the bulbs.
2. How do the different lighting systems produce light?
LEDs contain a diode that emits light when sufficient voltage is applied as the electrons recombine with the electron holes to release energy in the form of photons.
Incandescent bulbs contain a filament usually made mostly of tungsten which heats up and gives off light when an electric current is run through it.
For fluorescent lights, an electric current in the gas excites mercury vapour which produces short-wave ultraviolet light that then causes a phosphor coating on the inside of the light to glow.
3. What was the power usage in Singapore per capita?
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This image shows the power usage in Singapore per capita since 1970 compared to other countries. As shown in the line graph, Singapore uses a lot more electricity per capita compared to neighbouring countries like Malaysia, Hong Kong and China. This is an even greater reason for Singapore to conserve electricity.
Image Credit:!ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=eg_use_elec_kh_pc&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=region&idim=country:SGP:MYS:CHN:HKG&ifdim=region&tdim=true&hl=en_US&dl=en&ind=false

Friday, 9 January 2015

Formulating Hypotheses

1. Microbial Fuel Cell - Engineering Research
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The microbial fuel cell is an exciting new 2-in-1 power generation/sewage sanitisation that mimics bacterial interactions in nature. The microbial fuel cell works by anaerobic bacteria feeding on food sources (in this case sewage particles in the water) and producing carbon dioxide, protons and electrons as a by-product of anaerobic respiration in an anaerobic environment. These electrons are captured by mediators which are then deposited to an electrode. The electrons then travel along a wire to a second electrode, which acts as an electron sink. There, electrons are collected and converted into working electricity. While power is being generated, the bacteria also digest the sewage particles as food sources and leave behind clean drinkable water for usage.
However, we may have trouble finding and collecting enough anaerobic bacteria for the anaerobic respiration process. Also, a fuel cell on a big scale would be required for decent power generation.

2. Different types of lighting systems suitable for SST - Science Research Type 1 (Hypothesis-driven)
Independent Variable: The type of lighting system that is being used for the test and the voltages applied to he lighting systems.
Dependent Variable: The luminosity of the lighting system.
3 Constant Variables: The distance between the luminosity reader and the luminous part of the lighting system, the type of luminosity reader that we are using for all the lighting systems, and the voltage of the current that we are using to power the different lighting systems.
Hypothesis: LED lights give the highest lux/volts/cost value.
This is our selected topic.

3. Voltage Limits of different light bulbs - Science Research Type 2 (Measure a Value)
Independent Variable: The type of light bulb that is being used for the test.
Dependent Variable: The combustion point of the different light bulbs.
3 Constant Variables: The temperature of the environment where the experiment is carried out.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Generating Research Ideas

1. Microbial Fuel Cell - Engineering Research
To conserve energy, we need to develop alternative and renewable energy sources other than from the Sun (solar energy), Earth (geothermal energy), water (hydropower), or wind. But by using a microbial fuel cell, electricity can be extracted from wastewater! The microbial fuel cell converts organic material to electricity using bacteria, leaving behind clean drinking water in the process. This is an exciting prospect for people around the world who lack adequate sanitation and the means to afford it. In addition, water treatment plants require a lot of power to treat water. A lot of money and resources could be saved if the wastewater could be used as a fuel! 
Credit: Science Buddies Staff. (2014, October 10). Waste Not, Want Not: Use the Microbial Fuel Cell to Create Electricity from Waste. Retrieved January 6, 2015 from

2. Different types of lighting systems suitable for SST - Science Research Type 1 (Hypothesis-driven)
SST utilises fluorescent tubes for the majority of its lighting solutions. With newer lighting sources coming out recently that claims to be more efficient than fluorescent lighting, we want to test for the most efficient and cost-effective lighting system for SST to utilise. We will be comparing incandescent bulbs, fluorescent tubes and LED lights.

3. Voltage Limits of different light bulbs - Science Research Type 2 (Measure a Value)
A large portion of our light comes from light bulbs, we want to ensure that are in fact using the safest (least likely to blow or blow up) bulbs. We will be comparing incandescent bulbs, fluorescent tubes, led lights and halogen bulbs.

Monday, 5 January 2015

What is science and the scientific method?

Science is the systematic study of the physical world through observation and experimentation.

Scientific method is the systematic method of inquiry to understand how a phenomenon occurs. This is done by systematic observation, measurement, and experimentation, along with the formation, testing, and modification of a hypothesis.

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The Scientific Method

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The scientific method is a process of experimentation that is used to explore observations and answer questions. Scientists use the scientific method to search for cause and effect relationships in nature. In other words, they design an experiment so that changes to one item cause something else to vary in a predictable way.
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