Multi-Purpose Lamp; Factors Preventing the Transformation from Fossil Fuels to Clean Energies

Wang, Qiyue, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
JACQUES, RICHARD, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Powell, Harry, EN-Elec/Computer Engr Dept, University of Virginia

My technical and STS work have been focused on the energy aspect that can help to lower the carbon footprint in the future. My technical research is an Auto-adjustable lamp that aims at saving energy as it can provide the exact amount of light needed. My STS research is focusing on the factors that prevent the clean energy revolution. The connection between my technical research and STS research is that they are both aiming at reducing the carbon footprint in the goal of mitigating the effect of climate change. In the case of my technical research, the goal of our project is to save the excessive amount of energy that is used on lighting in the daytime. Reducing the amount of energy consumed can help to reduce the amount of carbon emission when the energy is generated from fossil fuels. My STS research, on the other hand, tries to find the factors that impede the development of the clean energy industry. Clean energy and fossil fuels are substitutes. If more clean energy is generated and consumed, less fossil fuels are needed and thus the carbon emission is less.
STS Research
My STS research focuses on the social factors that impede the clean energy revolution. Three important factors are identified. Potential unemployment would largely increase the unemployment rate and increase instability in the region that slows down the rapid transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. Low levels of education in developing countries make it hard for local people to accept and actively change to clean energy. Inactivity of governments gives little help to the development of the clean energy industry.

Technical Research
My technical research is an Auto-adjusted lamp. The lamp has a light sensor on it to detect the luminous intensity from the surrounding environment. Based on the feedback of the light sensor, the lamp is able to automatically adjust its brightness in order to keep the overall luminous intensity at a certain level to fulfill different needs such as reading and writing. Our goal of making this product is trying to save the energy use on the daily lighting. We noticed that people usually turn on lights more than their actual needs, especially in the daytime, but they are not willing to adjust the brightness of the lighting constantly. Thus, an auto-adjusted lamp or light can solve this problem.
Working on both technical research and STS research allowed me to understand how engineering works in both industry and society. Our technical project is more like an industry product that can go into the market and can be sold at a common store. In this project, we put a lot of effort into thinking on the customer’s side to improve the functionality of our product. Then in the STS research, I learned to think about more practical social aspects than just what we need in the laboratory.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Clean Energy Revolution, Fossil Fuels, Renewable Energy

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering
Technical Advisor: Harry Powell
STS Advisor: Richard Jacques
Technical Team Members: Isaac Li, Jiahe Tan, Andrew Ding

Issued Date: