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More than just hot air

Video transcript:

Kawai Tam, Project Advisor, UCR Bourns College of Engineering: Victory Gardens is a community in Moreno Valley, California and the developer is a non-profit association where he's trying to transform this community into a sustainable living community. He approached UC Riverside for us to test designs and so it opened the doors for our senior design students with senior design projects to come to this playground and test their ideas to bring them into reality.

Etinosa Agbonwaneten, UCR Alumna: It definitely took us from start to finish in developing an idea, refining it and creating a proposal to submit for funds.

Kenny Chau, UCR Alumnus: Hot air has a tendency to accumulate into the attics, which keeps the homes really hot.  Our project, instead of venting the air out, we actually capture the heat from the attics, further heat it through a solar collector and direct that into a confined closet space where the heated air rises and makes contact with the clothes and at the same time dry the clothes. 

We insulated it so when the heat enters it would actually accumulate and be contained within the closet.  So here down below we have a perforated vent that lets the heat build up and pressurize and blow through the small holes.  We included these fans to help pull the air in to allow it to circulate around the closet. 

Kawai Tam: The other aspect of it is that they're going to be using it to test air quality to make sure that it is going to be a comfortable environment for the particular residences that we will be installing in.

Kenny Chau: We have a program that has been active in recording data for the past couple of months so we kind of developed trends to see what kind of information we're getting. 

Kawai Tam: So, with our system, after the initial costs, you won't need electricity to dry your clothes or space heating after that.  So, when you have something like that, this system will be paid back in five years time.

Etinosa Agbonwaneten: I know that I want to graduate and make an impact on society, make sure what I'm doing is going to benefit the environment and society in a great way.  We also now, with everything we've gained, are finding out how it is to patent a project.  So it's been a great learning experience.