This project will produce a small carbon fibre curing oven that is built up in stages (ultimately as a learning kit) using spiral development to help students learn the basics of electronics, programming and heat power/energy. From this, they can learn the basics needed to help them design toasters, kettles, bread makers, thermostats, heaters, etc.
The basic specification for this is that it should:
- Connect a small heating device with a power supply and switch to heat up a small thermal mass.
- The original idea was to use a potentiometer to control the amount of heat given off. This later changed to have buttons on an interface panel.
- Add a small motorised fan with switch and potentiometer to control cooling of the device.
- Develop a temperature measuring circuit to indicate when a set temperature is reached.
- Integrate all the above steps with a relay to control the heater using a thermostat.
- Possibly add a timing circuit to allow the system to be turned off after a set time and to programme a detailed curing cycle for carbon fibre.
- Later on, connect the system to the internet to control it using a basic web based input and also to allow for monitoring with live feedback.
- Develop an app to set the temperature and time of the thermostat.
- Include PID control and develop an algorithm to improve the performance of the thermostat and turn it into a ‘smart’ thermostat with model predictive control.
Derek Covill has made this project