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My Name is Sam Budnick and product design is my passion! As a Mechanical Engineering Student at Central Washington University, I have some great resources at my fingertips to further my ideas and aspirations.  I encourage you to check out my site and let me know what you think!

As an ABET accredited school, CWU requires us to participate in their capstone project.  This provides the opportunity to design, prototype, and test an idea in the field of our interest!


My primary area of interest has been HVAC design, as I am currently working as an intern at University Mechanical Contractors as a design engineer.  I love creating mechanical systems that provide comfort and functionality in both residential and commercial applications. 

The biggest use of energy in any building is the HVAC/R systems (Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration) so there is tremendous market opportunity to improve the energy efficiency of these systems.  The leading technology is focusing on the controls of a system to better allocate resources where they are needed and when.


My capstone project will be an air handler that uses water as the working fluid to provide heating and air conditioning to a space within a building by just using the power of the sun.  The system will make use of a solar collector to heat water to approximately 140F in order to transfer enough heat to a ducted air space to provide 85F leaving air temperature.  A photovoltaic array will provide enough power to the circulaion pump and any thermocouples usd to monitor the water temperature.  This will be enough to heat a 1000 cubic foot space to a comfortable 70F with proper ventilation and recycled air.


Testing of the system has confirmed that even on a cloudy day, the radiation from the sun is enough to heat an 8 gallon water circulation line to over 140F in under 4 hours from sunrise to well after sunset.  The vacuum tubes provide insulation from conduction, so a cold day will not affect the performance of the device.  Working in conjunction with my partners Jeremy Dickson and Kyle Kluever, we were able to provide both hot and cold air to a space with minimal energy usage.


The project was continually ahead of schedule in order to be ready for the Environmental Innovation Challenge we participated in on April 11th, 2015.  This meant we needed to have the device built before capstone project deadlines, and initial testing before spring quarter even started to have a valid presentation for the competition.  The project came in under budget thanks to Jeff Grear who helped with donation of many materials used in construction of the project.

Licensed to practice the Art of Engineering

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