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Annex A - Group Research Proposal


Lim Jia Hui
Valerie Leo
Low Ping Yi

Class: S2-08

Group Reference:C

A. Indicate the type of research that you are adopting:
Development of a Solar-Powered Aquaponics system.

  1. Type & Category

Type of research: 6
Category  –  20
Sub-category – D
Application of project relevant to SST Community, Society or the World:
  1. Eco Friendly to the environment
  2. Lesser space and resources used for agriculture
  3. Multiple Crops (Plants & Fishes)
  4. Uses renewable energy sources

C. Write down your research title:
Development of a Solar-Powered Aquaponics system.

D. (a) Problem being addressed
People are depleting natural resources and land spaces unnecessarily to produce their food supplies.

(b) Goals
Our Goals are to use ways to improve our current society with the means of maintaining our natural resources by developing a solar-powered hydroponics.

(c) Specify Requirements
  1. Rearing fish (tilapia) to produce nutrients for plants
  2. Using sunlight to produce electricity for pump.
  3. Producing fish and plants using the aquaponics system
  4. (plant & fishes can grow bigger)

(d) 3 possible Solutions

Solution 1 (For inside the frame and stuffs would be constant, just the top part regarding solar panels will differentiate the three solutions)

Solution Two:
Double Layer
Top Two containers are for vegetations
Bottom Container are for fishes
Pipe connecting

Solution 3:

(e) Choice and rationale for choice
  Suggested factors for consideration:
Critical Thinking question
Is the weight suitable?
Is the size suitable?
Cost to produce
Do you have the financial support to produce it?
Is the solution simple, clever, or ingenious?
Is the solution sturdy, resilient, and unlikely to fail?
Is the solution tasteful and pleasing to look at?
Resources (pump strength)
Do you have or can you get the materials you need?
Do have time to make the solution and debug it?
Skill Required
Do you have the skills to make the solution?
Is the solution safe to build, use, store, and dispose of?
Ease of use
Is the device easy to use?
Environmental Impact
Does the device in anyway, have a negative impact on the environment?


Design Matrix

E.    Method – Description in detail of method or procedures

(a) Equipment list:
  • Storage Box x2
  • LEDLights (purple) <- See how
  • Solar Panels
  • Wire Tray
  • Supporting boards
  • BacterLife by Waterlife
  • Nitrate ion-selective electrode
  • Nitrate ion-selective electrode NO3-BTA
  • Carbon Dioxide Sensor
  • Ammonium ion-selective electrode NH4-BTA
  • Dissolved Oxygen Sensor
  • Air Pump
  • Pipes and tubes
  • Styrofoam
  • Net baskets
  • Fishes
  • Fish Food
  • Bacteria
  • Container
  • Filter (to contain bacteria)
  • Bell Siphon
    • 1 - 3" PVC pipe
    • 1- ¾” Uniseal Fitting
Bell Dome
  • 1 - 2" PVC pipe
  • 1 - 2" PVC cap
Bell Siphon
  • 1 - 3/4" PVC pipe
  • 1 - 3/4" to 1 1/2" bell adapter
Grow Bed Connections
  • 1 - 3/4" Male adapter (thread to slip)
  • 1 - 3/4" Female adapter (thread to slip)
  • 2 - #18 o-rings
Drain Pipe
  • 2 - 3/4" PVC pipe 4 inch long
  • 1- 3/4" 90o elbow
  • 1 - ¾” 45o elbow

(b) Diagrams

(c) Procedures for building: Detail all procedures for construction of prototype
  1. General Building:
    1. Set up the antonius wire tray
    2. Remove two baskets
    3. Place storage boxes from daiso in (it should fit)

  1. Upper Section:
    1. Styrofoam and Vegetations
      1. Get a styrofoam
      2. Drill 6 circular holes in a styrofoam
      3. Put Vegetation in the holes and make sure they fit just nicely
      4. *optional* Add net baskets to easily remove the vegetation.
    2. Waterbody
      1. Pour clean freshwater into the box
      2. (Optional) Add Necessary Nutrients
      3. Place a S-Hook at the side of the Antonius Wire Tray, and put a plastic bag over the hook.
      4. Dump your ph-metre tester and nitrate level tester inside the plastic bag
      5. Drill/ Cut a hole big enough for air pipe to fit at the bottom of the highest storage box.
      6. Put a pipe through that hole

  1. Lower Section
    1. Add a Storage Box
    2. Place wire nettings /gazzete(?) over the top of the box but leaving a circular hole somewhere towards the right side.
    3. Connect a tube from the hole of the top storage box to the pump of the lower storage box.
    4. Fill the lower storage box with water.
    5. Add fishes inside.
    6. Take a small plastic waterproof box and place inside the fish tank and at the end of step 14.
    7. Cut a hole the size of the connected Air pipe
  2. Solar Panels
    1. Get the solar panels and connect it to the battery and the light
  3. Bell Siphon

(d) Procedures for testing: Detail all procedures for testing of prototype

  1. Let the ammonia produced by the fish accumulate near the bacteria
  2. The bacteria will work on its own and convert the ammonia to nutrients for the plant to absorb
  3. The nutrients in the water will be pumped up into the tank where the plants are
  4. The plants will be given time (maybe 15-30mins? not confirmed) to absorb the nutrients and provide oxygen
  5. The oxygen produced in the water will be pumped back down to the fish tank
  6. The fish get to enjoy the fresh supply of water
  7. Repeat procedures 1-6
  8. Meanwhile, during the day, the solar panels will be placed aside separately to absorb oxygen for later while the prototype will be also placed under the sun so the plants can also provide oxygen without the solar panels in the day.
  9. At night, the solar panels will be used to replace the sunlight in the day.for the vegetables (lettuce)

(e) Risk, Assessment and Management: Identify any potential risks and safety precautions to be taken.

Breathing in the smelly smell of fish waste (ammonia)
Students try to avoid breathing in when handling with their waste
Students may need to breed bacteria which may/may not harm them
Make sure that they are wearing gloves or thongs.
There may be a risk of accidentally cutting a finger when drilling a hole in the wood/ styrofoam.
Ask teacher for help or be extremely careful
There may be a chance to be bitten by the fish
Try to be extra careful
Table 3: Risk Assessment and Management table

(f) Data Analysis: Describe the procedures you will use to analyze the data/results that answer engineering goals

F. Bibliography:

(a) Books
Scientific Papers. Animal Science. (n.d.). STARTUP STAGES OF A LOW-TECH AQUAPONIC SYSTEM, 57(D), 263-269. doi:1843-6048
(b) Journals
Aquaponics Journal. (n.d.). Retrieved January 16, 2016, from http://www.aquaponicsjournal.com/articles.php

N.R., Mohamad, A.S.A.M., Soh, A., Salleh, N.M.Z., Hashim, M.Z., Abd Aziz, N., Sarimin, A. Othman, Z.A, Ghani (n.d.). Development of Aquaponic System using Solar Powered Control Pump.IOSR Journal of Electrical and Electronics Engineering IOSR-JEEE, 8(6), 01-06. Retrieved January 16, 2016, from http://iosrjournals.org/iosr-jeee/Papers/Vol8-issue6/A0860106.pdf

(c) Websites

Ako, H. (January 11, 2016). How to Build and Operate a Simple Small-to-Large Scale Aquaponics System. Retrieved, from http://www.ctsa.org/files/publications/CTSA_aquaponicsHowTo.pdf
Aquaponics. (2016,February 02). Retrieved, from http://www.appropedia.org/Aquaponics
Aquaponics. (2016,February 23). Retrieved, from http://www.appropedia.org/Aquaponics
Aquaponics Swirl Tank | Aquaponics Blog. (2015, March 12). Retrieved, from http://pandeglang.work/aquaponics-swirl-tank/
Deep Water Culture Aquaponics System. Digital image.Thesufficientliving.com. Thesufficientliving.com, Apr. 2009. Web. Retrieved January 7, 2016 from http://theselfsufficientliving.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Sustainable-Indoor-Aquaponics-system1.jpg
Elia, E., Popa, D., & Nicolae, C. (2014). STARTUP STAGES OF A LOW-TECH AQUAPONIC SYSTEM. Lennard, W. (2005, July 5). Issue 83: Aquaponics Simplified. Retrieved January 7, 2016, from http://www.hydroponics.com.au/issue-83-aquaponics-simplified/
Make a Bell Siphon. (2016, February 23). Retrieved from http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-Bell-Siphon/
R, Tinker-Kulberg. (2014, October 14). Aquaponics: A new breed of sustainable farmers social justice activists. Retrieved January 16, 2016, from http://abundancenc.org/aquaponics-a-new-breed-of-farmers-promoting-environmental-sustainability-and-social-justice/
Solar Powered All In One Oxygenator Air Pump With Airstone | Lazada Singapore. Retrieved January 20, 2016, from http://www.lazada.sg/solar-powered-all-in-one-oxygenator-air-pump-with-airstone-209242.html

Tans Storage Box. (2015 Summer) Digital image. Growingwiththetans. Web. from <http://growingwiththetans.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_0453.jpg>.
University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Bucharest, 59 Mărăşti Blvd, District 1, 011464, Bucharest. Retrieved January 8, 2016, from

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