Thursday, July 3, 2008

Penang Monorail Project Report


Team members:
Project Manager - Tan
Chief Mechanical Engineer - Looi
Chief Electrical Engineer - Teo
Chief Materials/Chemical Engineer - Ang
Finance and Marketing - C. Mogen


Aim:
To design and build Penang's very first environmental friendly, energy-efficient, low-cost and user friendly state-of-the-art monorail system.


Resources/Materials:
  • High tensile strength waterproof composite paper
  • Heat-resistive antimicrobial waterproof malleable conducting paper
  • Low friction highly flexible ferromagnetic Polyvinyl Chloride
  • Energy-absorbing photosensitive biochemical sponge
  • Low power consumption self-sustainable laser cutter
  • Fast-setting non-corrosive multi-purpose adhesive

Research and Planning:
One of the main objective for this project is to build an emission free, energy saving transport system for Penang, connecting every town and district within the island. A few ideas were suggested by the R&D team. The ideas are listed below:

1) Water propelled
Uses water flow as the primary force to move the carriages. Water will be stored in a reservoir and pumped into the track to create water flow. To promote recycling, water from reservoir is sourced from sewage systems throughout the island.
  • pros: minimum energy usage, water cheap and readily available, emission free, less prone to breakdowns - remains functional during power failure.
  • cons: dries up quick in hot weather, leveling problem - track has to be completely level or water will overflow, limited speed, water from sewage system is smelly
2) Magnetic levitation
Inspired by the great Mr.Leong, carriages are magnetically levitated. Electromagnetic rings are placed at intervals along the track to provide magnetic force for driving the carriages.
  • pros: pollutant-free, noise-free, low friction between carriage and track, able to achieve high speeds, minimum energy usage, minimum wear - no contact between carriage and track
  • cons: higher costs, sophisticated maintenance work
3) Engine driven
The conventional rail system. Carriage powered by engine.
  • pros: readily available design and technology, proven reliability
  • cons: consumes energy, pollutants from engine emission, higher friction due to heavier carriages - lost of energy
The engine driven system does not meet our objective of energy-efficient state-of-the-art monorail system. The water based system meets every part of our objective except not being environmental friendly. It also cannot achieve high speed due to restriction of water flow. After throughout researching and discussion, it is decided that the monorail be built using the magnetic levitation system. This project is code named 'Monorail Of The Future'.


Task Distribution:
Work on the monorail prototype started as soon as the plan was drawn up. Tasks were assigned to each engineering department. Chief mechanical engineer Looi was assigned the task of designing the monorail station and track, particularly the docking of carriages and changing of tracks. The task of designing the elevation system and the magnetic propulsion system was assigned to the electrical engineering department lead by Teo. Construction of the carriage and station, as well as R&D for materials were supervised by Ang. All expenses and research sponsorships were managed by Mogen. The project manager supervises the project as a whole.


Monorail Design and Construction:
Stations are designed in the shape of tubes, coherent with the shape of the magnetic propulsion device. Inside the station, the track moves the train to a certain velocity, once outside the station, the magnetic propulsion device will be the one pulling the train forward. The device is an electromagnetic ring placed along the track at intervals, and only turns on for a short while just before the train passes through it, pulling it forward. The train gains momentum as it passes through several of these rings. The rate of acceleration can be controlled by the magnetic field intensity generated from the ring. When decelerating, the same principle is applied in reverse. The electromagnetic ring is activated for a short while soon as the train passes through it, pulling the train backwards.
Conventional brakes are also used, but only as reinforcements.

The current used to induce the electromagnetic rings are generated from inside the carriage. Our singing crazy electrical engineer, Teo, came up with idea of converting sound energy into electrical energy, producing current. Passengers in the monorail are required to sing in order to move the train. Because acceleration is controlled by the magnetic field intensity, which is related to the current, the louder the singing is, the faster the train goes!






Our electrical engineer
singing his lungs out during
testing
of the energy converter....
"ta bu shi yi ge hao nan ren...."








The tracks are constructed from low friction highly flexible magnetic Polyvinyl Chloride, specially developed by our R&D department for this project. It's high flexibility makes it easy to form curved tracks. The PVC has magnetic properties, enabling it to levitate the carriages. The formulation of the PVC is a copyrighted highly confidential trade secret. The bottom part of the carriages are fitted with the PVC and are of opposite polarity with the track PVC.







Our chemical engineer
in the midst of formulating
the magnetic PVC.
.........serious face.......








Every single structure in our project is built from our specially formulated high tensile strength waterproof composite paper. Light weight and able to withstand the weight equivalent to hundreds of hard cover books, the high tensile strength waterproof composite paper is a research breakthrough by our brilliant chief chemical engineer. Because our paper is so strong, we have to cut it with a low power consumption self-sustainable laser cutter invented by our R&D team.








Stress test of our high tensile strength paper...









After construction, the structures, including the monorail itself, are covered in ~ again invented by our brilliant R&D team ~ heat-resistive antimicrobial waterproof malleable conducting paper. As the name suggests, it is heat resistive so occupants and passengers will feel cool and comfortable in the hot weather, has anti-bacteria properties that automatically repels bacteria and dirt so it always stays white and clean, malleable for ease of wrapping around surface of structures, and conductive so that it is always grounded, acting like a giant lightning rod.


One of the process of making the heat-resistive conducting paper, rubbing it viciously with your hand!! Seen here is our electrical engineer doing what he does best....



For environmental purposes, not a single nail is used in the construction process. Every structure is built using a fast-setting non-corrosive multi-purpose adhesive. To add to the environmental friendliness, energy-absorbing photosensitive biochemical sponges are placed around the surroundings. What it does is it absorbs energy from the surroundings ~ light energy, sound energy, heat energy, etc ~ and feed it into the energy converter, so even when passengers of the monorail are 'emo' and in no mood to sing, an alternative source of energy is still available.


Additional Information:
Due of our team's innovative and breakthrough in R&D, the government has decided to built a commemorative plaque at every single monorail station throughout the island as a token of honour.







The very first of
our commemorative plaque
to be built....WooHooo!!!

1 comment:

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