Oftentimes, volunteers have to go to the garden to make sure that their water is not frozen.This has not been efficient and is in need of change. In this instructable we will design a thermal water bowl for the chickens in our school garden.
Some challenges we faced throughout our design process is that there is no outlet in the garden where the chickens live and the bowl cannot be too hot because it might cause the hay to catch fire.
Step 1: What Are the Functional Requirements and the Specifications?
Functional Requirement # 1:
The bowl must keep the water from freezing
Must be be above 32° F and below 50° F
Functional Requirement # 2:
Must know when to turn to turn off
When volume of H2O = 0 then it should turn off and stop heating the bowl.
Step 2: Materials
In order to move ahead, you must gather up all your materials. Which overall does consist of too much.
- Metal Chicken Bowl and a smaller bowl for testing
- Heating Pads (12V)
- Temperature Controller to monitor heat
For the test plan you also need,
- A form to measure how much water used in bowl
- Freezer (refrigerator)
Step 3: How Long Does It Take for Water to Freeze?
To begin test plan, we first test how long it takes for water to freeze when placed in a refrigerator.
So you place 100 ml of water in the freezer and record data after 45 minute intervals.
After 45 minutes the water had a thin layer of ice on top and this was enough to conclude how long the water takes to freeze because chicken won't take time to peck at this layer of ice.
With this data you can move on to testing with heat.
You attach a small heating pad to the tray and test how long it takes for the water to freeze, again in 45 minute intervals.
Now if it works and keeps the water from freezing we need a way to stop the bowl from getting to hot so that the chickens don't burn themselves when coming into contact with the bowl. This is where the temperature controller comes into place.
After testing this and fixing what needed to be fixed, we can begin to order the 12V heating pads.
Step 4: Measure of Success
To know whether or not our test plan worked we have to make sure the water stays unfrozen for a prolonged period of time without harming the chicken. If it does these two things then we were successful. In order to control the temperature we would need to program the sensor into doing so, so after this we will know for sure whether our plan works, trial and error.