From an idea to a patent: SPbGASU graduate student developed a solution for cleaning roofs of snow and ice

From an idea to a patent: SPbGASU graduate student developed a solution for cleaning roofs of snow and ice

Anna Fadyukhina, a student of the Automobile and Road Building Faculty, figured out how to safely and efficiently clean the roofs of snow. The graduate’s development was filed for a patent. She worked under the supervision of Ph.D., associate professor of the Department of Land Transport and Technological Machines Nikolay V. Podoprigora. We asked the student to tell more about her design solution.

Автор разработки по очистке крыш от снега Анна Фадюхина, петербургский архитектурно-строительный ун-т

Anna Fadyukhina, group 2-NTTS-5, author of GQW on the “Design of a KAMAZ-based communal vehicle for cleaning building roofs of snow and ice”

Anna, what made you interested in this topic?

I wanted to work on solving a practical problem, to apply the knowledge and skills acquired at the university. The idea came up on the fourth grade of the Specialist’s degree program, when associate professor Podoprigora, the supervisor of my thesis, taught us the course on “Construction machines”.

The section on communal machines made me interested: there are lots of issues and problems that directly affect the level and quality of life of entire cities.

In the last two winters, the deaths of street walkers from fallen down icicles and snow were widely discussed in the media and on social networks; tragically, even children are not insured against it, not to mention the falling of industrial climbers, issues with the working conditions and qualifications of workers of the snow-removal services. We, St. Petersburgers, saw the communal collapse of 2018/2019 with our own eyes: city services could not cope with cleaning the streets and roofs of snow and ice. I saw the statistics in open sources: in the several past years, precipitations increased in St. Petersburg by 40%!

So what is the gist of your idea of roof clearing?

We suggested replacing manual work with a mechanized cleaning method: it is efficient and, most importantly, safe for passersby and workers. Today, city services send industrial climbers with a crowbar or shovel to the roofs!

Our idea is to use a shovel bucket for cutting icicles and a snow plow attached to a telescopic boom, controlled by an operator.

Devices for cleaning should be installed with the control cabin instead of the cradle on the KAMAZ hi-up truck. We took into account the available vehicle fleet of communal services and managing companies. Since this is removable equipment, it can be installed onto Gazelles and other truck chassis. The developed communal vehicle based on the KamAZ basis with an elevated work platform, which can be extended up to 18 meters, is planned to be used for cleaning roofs of buildings no higher than 6 floors on the façade side. We catered for the needs of the typical buildings in the historical center of St. Petersburg, where the situation gets difficult every year because of the snow and ice falling down not only on passerby, but public property: it is impossible to walk along the sidewalks and the roadways are blocked.

From an idea to a patent: SPbGASU graduate student Anna Fadyukhina developed a solution for cleaning roofs of snow and ice

The average cost of hiring an industrial climber in the city varies between 10 and 11 thousand rubles, the work of our vehicle with an operator costs approximately 9 thousand rubles per one request. The cost of exploitation will pay off within 15 months.

As long as the roof is cleaned not by a climber with a shovel but by a qualified operator at the control panel in a protected cabin, the danger of a worker falling down from the roof goes off.

Does your decision take into account the qualification requirements for the operator? Who can run your communal vehicle?

Yes, of course: the operators must be qualified as auto crane operators.

We took into account not only the economic component of the development and operation of the project of a communal vehicle, but also made a complete technological control map in accordance with the current documentation. This includes qualification requirements for the operator of the vehicle, modes of use of the mechanism, and safety aspects with the full regulatory component. This is described in a separate section of my final qualifying work.

Commentary of the thesis supervisor, Nikolay Podoprigora, Ph.D., associate professor of the Department of Land Transport and Technological Machines:

One of the advantages of the solution we proposed is that along with the design, we have developed a detailed flow chart of the processes of the vehicle’s operation. The proposed technical solution bears practical significance for public utilities and allows considerable improving of the quality of services in the districts at the lowest cost, reducing labor costs and possible human injuries and the amount of snow and icicles falling down from the roofs in the cold seasons. State structures, enterprises, and commercial organizations apply to SPbGASU asking for help in solving problems: the fresh look and creative thinking of students, qualifications and practical experience of the faculty of the university has always been and remains our significant advantage. The LTTM Department, in its turn, tries to take part in all industry-related events, to initiate and organize our own activities at all levels, and to attract students to solving important tasks for the industry in the framework of graduation qualification works.

Interviewed by Anastasia Babik

Read more about the Department of Land Transport and Technological Machines

Партнёр: Санкт-Петербургский государственный архитектурно-строительный университет