Friday, May 22, 2015

Week 8 (Outside Lab) - Flow Rate Testing

At this meeting, the team started to collect empirical data on the end flow rate of the water as it is pumped. They set up the apparatus without the Arduino and breadboard and PC in between, to make it easier to turn the pump on and off (through plugging and unplugging it, rather than controlling it with the desktop application). One of the two output tubes was directed into a Pyrex glass measuring cup, which has metric measuring lines. When the team was ready, one member plugged in the pump as another member started a timer, and another kept an eye on the water level inside the cup - this third member called out for the timer to stop once the water reached the desired volume.

This process was repeated about ten times, at different volumes (the raw data is shown in Figure 1). In one of the later trials (Trial 9, below), the team realized that the flow rate actually changes depending on how much water is in the water container; when the water is low, the pump outputs a lower flow rate. This is something that will be tested further at the next meeting.

Figure 1. First flow rate data collection

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