Fast, simple and cheap experiments

By Damien Buchs March 15, 2016 Edition CHIC 2015-2016

In a first stage, we have decided to decrease our uncertainty as fast as possible by making small and quick bets, instead of investing time and efforts into scenarios’ assumptions. Engineers especially have to deal with a lot of uncertainties. So they have to make very simple models to set limits to the real system.

Last week, Chenyue – our materials engineer – made theoretical calculations to estimate the heat needed for 1L water heating. She established the requirements for the selection of heating elements that could be suitable to our heating system. Then, she has started fast and easy experiments with an old metallic pan filled with different water quantity.


Her main goal was to have an estimation of the energy supplied for a given quantity of water and determine the heating efficiency of such simple system.  Her results confirmed that a heating element with a power of 80W would be sufficient to provide enough energy to heat 0.5L water from 22°C to 67°C within 1h heating time.