The Bio Diesel Golf Cart Project

In 10th Grade, a peer and I decided to conduct another project where we would convert a golf cart that runs on gasoline to one that runs on biodiesel. After applying and receiving a $5,000 grant from SRP (the local power company, which funds sustainable education projects with grants), my partner, myself, and a certified engineer who graciously volunteered his time with us, proceeded to rebuild the golf cart from the ground up, eventually replacing the entire engine. After 300 hours of total work, we had built a golf cart that could run on bio diesel, a much cleaner burning, and often cheaper, fuel than regular diesel.

  • Check out the Bio Diesel Golf Cart At Coachella in My Video Tour Below
  • Check out more photos of the project by clicking below or here.
  • Read the original SRP Grant that I wrote along with my partner for this project.
  • Take a look at the PowerPoint presentation on the project below.

Here is a tour of the Global Inheritance booth at Coachella 2009. Here I show you golf carts inspired by Paul McCartney, M.I.A, Franz Ferdinand, Amy Winehouse, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Turbonegro. To see pictures of the booth, take a look here


The Bio Diesel Golf Cart

1. Statement of Need: The ever-warming global climate and its effects, such as melting ice caps and the spread of diseases such as malaria, are huge issues. Schools need to educate students about global climate change, and equip students to deal with the challenges it creates. We are sophomores in high school at the Jess Schwartz Jewish Community High School and we want to equip ourselves to deal with the real world challenge of global warming. We, as students, are actively engaged in our school’s ground-breaking sustainability curriculum, learning what causes global warming and other environmental problems. As freshmen we did a math honors project to design a sustainable house, and this year we are working on a project to design a sustainable school building for our high school. However we want to take our environmental education into our own hands. To learn about environmental problems we have designed our own project to address a huge problem. This problem affects our whole society, not only in the valley, or nationally, but worldwide: the problem of fossil-fuels and the consequences of using them. We thus have designed our own project as a working model of how individual people or communities can make an impact on the global warming crisis. The project is to convert a standard gasoline powered golf cart to run on a clean-burning and “green” biodiesel fuel. We plan to present this at the Global Sustainability Summit Jess Schwartz Jewish Community High School is having in the spring, not only to other students in our own high school but also to other students in middle schools from around the valley including Pardes Jewish Day school, King David School, and the Phoenix Hebrew Academy. On the completion of the golf cart conversion, we will then take it to the schools and display it to them as out-reach to demonstrate principles of sustainability. This cart is a tangible way to educate us, and for us also to exercise positive individual influence on the current global climate problems. It is no secret that teenagers care about what our fellow teens say and do. Based on this idea we hope this project will not only expand our own understanding of sustainability but also inspire other students to find ways they can become environmentally green. The excitement a student-altered golf cart can generate will help many students become aware of the environment around them. More importantly, it will open a conversation about the impact of students as consumers, making us all more aware of the importance of green and sustainable practices. This specific project serves as a powerful demonstration of how we as students can make a personal contribution to fighting global warming, and we can catalyze our high school communities to learn more. At the same time our school will continue to engage in efforts to reduce our environmental impact as a school. The whole process of learning, planning, and designing this project is a way that we as students can learn about current issues and take meaningful and appropriate action. For the students involved this project is a way to educate ourselves on principles of sustainability and real world modeling, such as a working engine that runs of biodiesel. We need and will appreciate SRP’s help in equipping us, the students, with the tools to learn and act on global problems. Goals: Goals Outcomes Engage in out-reach and education projects This will help us teach other students about to other schools in the Valley Design and construct a golf cart that on sustainability This will further our own knowledge and biodiesel Alert other students to and teach them about local and global environmental problems Find our personal roles in the global effort to stop global warming expand on our ideas for clean fuels and sustainability on a whole. As part of our out-reach this will help raise community awareness of the global warming crisis This will help us as individuals find ways to combat global warming on a personal scale Project Description and Timeline: The project is to convert a gasoline powered golf cart into a biodiesel-powered golf cart and then to show it to other schools around the Valley as a way to show one easy way to be sustainable. To accomplish this, we will: Build a conversion tank to convert the french-fry oil into biodiesel and install a small diesel engine into a golf cart. We will present it to our school and other schools at the Global Sustainability Summit at Jess Schwartz this spring. Then, once the golf cart is finished, we will take it to the individual schools and describe the process we went through to achieve our goals and project. Golf carts are not designed for such large or powerful diesel engine, and as a consequence, we will need to retrofit the golf cart to accommodate the engine size and power and then install the new engine. With the new biodiesel engine in the golf cart, it will have a steady and renewable source of cleaner emitting, non-fossil fuel. Biodiesel is refined french-frying oil that has been used to cook fried food, but is no longer usable as such, and would otherwise have been discarded in a landfill. This fuel source is a renewable source of energy because it is derived from animal and vegetable oils that are used in deep fryers; so long as people eat fast food, it will be a steady source of fuel. We have a golf cart that is being donated. Once it is received we will purchase a diesel engine and we will begin to adapt it to fit the golf cart. In the mean time we will build the tank for converting the used cooking oil into biodiesel. A parent at our high school with extensive engineering knowledge and mechanical experience has generously offered to donate his oversight, time, and garage facilities to make this project possible. Time line: Build Biodiesel Refinement Tank Receive a Golf Cart Receive Grant Funding Purchase a Diesel Engine Refit the Golf Cart For the Diesel Engine Fit the Engine To the Golf Cart Present our project at the Global Sustainability Summit Go to other schools and present the finished project October 2006 October 2006 November 2006 November-December 2006 December 2006 -March 2007 December 2006 -March 2007 February 2007 March-April 2007 Once we have the refinement tank set up and have made it functional, we will perform emissions experiments comparing biodiesel to both unleaded gasoline and standard diesel to quantify the emissions improvement. 3. Student Impact: These are the things that we as students will learn: 1. The impact and value of cultivating renewable energy sources, such as alternative fuels. 2. Emissions standards and the emissions difference between clean-burning fuels and more commonly-used fossil fuels such as gasoline and standard petroleum diesel fuel. 3. Energy efficiency in design and in engines. 4. Knowledge of how an engine and other parts of a vehicle work and interact. 5. Communication and presentation skills that are vital for college and the workplace. 6. Our personal impact on the environment. During the project we will use STELLA, a systems modeling program, to model the golf cart engine before the conversion to biodiesel and after the conversion to biodiesel. We will conduct various experiments with biodiesel, gasoline, and standard petrol-diesel. We will compare efficiency, emissions, and horsepower. At the school’s Global Sustainability Summit in the spring, we will present our project to our peers and visiting middle schools to teach them about sustainability and alternative fuels. In addition to that public event we will also present our finished project to the school administration for evaluation. 4. Benefits to the School and Environment: This project will help educate not only the students involved, but also the whole school to the benefit of alternative fuels and to why alternative fuels are a necessity to replace fossil fuels that are currently the dominant transportation fuel. This will be one of two model sustainability projects at the school and will serve as a way to excite students to the ever-growing and prominent field of sustainable technologies. At the completion of this project, the school will have a functional golf cart to use for transportation between the two halves of our school. The golf cart will be used to move presentation equipment, disabled students or faculty, and school supplies across campus. It will also be a constant reminder of how sustainable technologies can and will affect our daily lives in the future. This will obliterate any of the environmental impact that the golf cart would have had if it had not been converted to bio-diesel. As you can see in the emission charts below, that impact can be substantial. Two additional free benefits will be the fact that our air on campus will be cleaner and the fuel bill for the golf cart will be non existent. 5. Budget: SRP Budget Water heater, pump, filters $500 Diesel Engine $3,000 USA_Final.nsf/contentByKey/AWUE6HTENN-EN-p Custom Machined Parts for conversion $1,500 Total $5,000 Additional expenses will be paid for by money raised by the students. 6. Evaluation Process: We believe that we will learn a great deal about sustainable transportation and sustainability in general. One of our goals is community outreach and teaching the community about sustainable transportation and sustainability in general, and we believe that we will accomplish this goal in spades. Throughout the process of building the golf cart we will speaking to faculty, students, parents, mentors, and various community figureheads involved with our specific project and the Jess Schwartz sustainability project as a whole. We will be teaching, informing, and answering questions throughout the project, while at the same time learning a great deal about sustainability ourselves. Another one of our goals that we will fully realize is finding our place in the global picture of sustainability and sustainable research. As we progress from a sustainable house to a bio-diesel golf cart, we will find our place in the sustainable research world. We will learn about the many difference facets of sustainable technologies and we may eventually use these ideas in the design of our future school. In addition to evaluating ourselves and our ideas on sustainability, we will also be thoroughly evaluated by our faculty via the form of honors criteria and presentations throughout the year. a) Science and math honors criteria must be satisfied by student team members to receive honors credit for this project. b) Enrolled students must successfully complete the energy flow, transfer, and use of curriculum in the freshman Physics & Systems Science and senior Advanced Physics courses. c) The project will be presented this spring semester at the school’s Global Sustainability Summit on February 13, 14, and 15 for community discussion. d) Later this year, student team members will present the project to the school administration and teachers for evaluation. e) Oversight of the project will be done by Michael Rosenfield, who is an engineer and has extensive automotive experience, has agreed to facilitate the project in his garage. Emissions Chart

Our Project Our project is to convert a gasoline golf cart into a cleaner burning, more environmentally friendly, cheaper to fuel, bio-diesel golf cart. We also hope to educate the public on several topics including bio-diesel, alternative fuels, and how easy it can be to drive green without breaking the bank. We hope to participate in community events sponsored by SRP in the future as well as community and schools events such as this one. What is Bio Diesel? Bio Diesel is basically a fuel that is derived from waste vegetable oil that is used in restaurant fryers. It can run in any car or truck that has a diesel engine with little to no modifications. It is a cheap (often free) alternative fuel that burns cleaner than both diesel and gasoline. An example of the tanks that we will use to process and refine french-fry oil into bio-diesel that can be used in any diesel vehicle. It only takes a couple of tanks to complete the refining process. Finding Bio-Diesel In our case, we will be receiving our fuel from local restaurants that would otherwise have to pay to dispose of their waste oil. It is a win-win for the both the restaurant owner and the biodiesel enthusiast. The restaurant owner gets rid of the oil for free and we get free fuel. Compare free to 2.30 a gallon and bio-diesel becomes and extremely viable alternative for individuals. A Bio-Diesel Fuel Pump As bio-diesel is just a modified form of diesel fuel, it can be run in any car that has a diesel engine with little to no modifications. It can also be stored and pumped at a regular gas station. One of the main barriers to alternative fuels is the lack of distribution infrastructure. Bio-diesel does not have this problem making it an alternative fuel candidate that we should investigate. Progress of Bio-Diesel in the Retail Market As you can see, bio-diesel use has been growing exponentially for almost half a decade, and it appears that the growth will only accelerate from this point out. How Bio Diesel Is Created Bibliography making/large/making-biodiesel-01.jpg 610200462244PM_company_logo.JPG peg

This project was also featured in the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix.

Check Out The Article By Clicking on the Image or Here

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