The design and fabrication of a pedal powered washing machine

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Performing daily activities such as laundry are influenced by available resources which vary concerning demographics and geography. An estimated 14% of the global population live off-grid; a fraction of which live off-grid by choice and the majority do so due to the limited to no electricity supply. The provision of electricity to meet the rate of demand is essential to improve the standard of living; however, our energy and resource consumption habits increase carbon emissions. Large scale laundry habits have been identified as a contributor to climate change with studies concerned by the considerable carbon emissions released by automatic washing machines. However, the alternative handwashing is considered time consuming and labour intensive. These alternative perspectives establish the trade-off faced between labour-intensive and energy-intensive habits or technologies. In the era of accelerated climate change, it is essential for understanding how technological inefficiencies and energy-intensive technologies affect climate change and sustainability. Motivated by addressing the trade-off, this project aimed to design and simulate an alternative powered washing machine. The alternative concept originated from the sustainability initiative of Environmentally Optimized Laundry, which intends to satisfy the need for a less labour-intensive laundry practice specifically communities and households living off-grid and also encourage a less energy-intensive laundry practice for the majority of the population. This project t, therefore, offers an unconventional yet more effective alternative to handwashing by mimicking some characteristics of a modern electrically powered washing machine. The outcomes of this project demonstrate the possibility and the benefits of rotating a washing drum with the capacity of 6.5kg using purely mechanical rotational input.
Capstone Project submitted to the Department of Engineering, Ashesi University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, May 2020
rotational drum, mechanical washing machine, bicycle powered