Design4SDGs: Build a Carbon-Neutral and Sustainable City with micro:bit

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The United Nations has established 17 Sustainable Development Goals to address various global challenges, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, as well as peace and justice.

This project constructs a functional prototype of a carbon-neutral and sustainable city using micro:bit and DFRobot modules. The city comprises an energy-efficient home, a green power factory, and a climate-smart greenhouse. 

Through this project, students have the opportunity to delve into coding, hardware control, energy management, and interdisciplinary knowledge. This hands-on experience facilitates a deeper comprehension of climate change and carbon-neutral practices.

The Energy-Efficient Home


SDG Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

This area develops the knowledge to optimize the house's energy utilization by constructing a small house model.

The LED strips simulate the sun's trajectory across different seasons. 

By installing two light sensors, one inside and one outside the house, we can employ a SCI module to log the data and generate a graph on the computer. 

Analyzing the variations in indoor and outdoor lighting throughout different seasons reveals distinct patterns. During summer, sunlight tends to enter the house during sunrise and sunset, while in winter, indoor lighting is stronger at noon. 

Consequently, an optimal design approach would involve enlarging south-facing windows to allow more sunlight into the house, thereby increasing warmth in winter. Additionally, reducing the size of east and west-facing windows would help minimize heat influx during the summer months.

By utilizing light data as a reference, we can employ a micro:bit to regulate servos and LEDs, thereby crafting intelligent eaves or interior lighting systems. This approach not only improves energy efficiency but also enhances overall living comfort.

1 micro:bit
1 micro:bit Expansion Board
1 Ambient Light Sensor
1 RGB LED Strip (28 LED)
1 Servo

Hardware Connection

LED Strip - P0

Servo - P12

Light Sensor - IIC

Sample Code

icon home (Code).zip 218KB Download(11)

The Green Power Factory


SDG Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

SDG Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

This area demonstrates the principles of solar and wind energy, establishing a system for collecting and utilizing renewable energy.

In the wind power section, energy from the wind turbine is collected and stored in a capacitor. By measuring the voltage rise of the capacitor, it becomes evident how energy transforms into different forms. 

Once sufficient energy is stored, the LED strips of the factory light up, indicating the utilization of energy. 

In the solar energy section, the voltage of the solar panel is displayed, serving as an indicator to determine the optimal angle for installing the solar panel. 

1 micro:bit
1 micro:bit Expansion Board
1 R300 DC motor
1 Energy Harvesting Module
1 Super-Capacitor
1 Analog Voltage Divider
1 LED String

Hardware Connection

Voltage Divider - P0

LED String - P8

Sample Code

icon factory (Code).zip 209KB Download(5)

The Climate-Smart Greenhouse 


SDG Goal 13: Climate Action

This area utilizes multiple environmental sensors to study the foundational element on earth—Carbon, and the impact of increased carbon dioxide content. 

The greenhouse is equipped with a CO2 sensor, a light sensor, and temperature and humidity sensors. An SCI module is used to collect data from these sensors. With the collected data, we can study how the rise in CO2 levels leads to global warming and the decrease in CO2 through plant photosynthesis. 

Furthermore, using the micro:bit and LED strip, we can create a plant monitor and design a lamp that changes color to fulfill various plant growth requirements.

1 CO2 Sensor
1 Ambient Light Sensor
1 Science Data Acquisition (SCI DAQ) Module
1 micro:bit
1 micro:bit Expansion Board
1 RGB LED Strip (7 LED)

Hardware Connection

CO2 Sensor - SCI Port 2

Light Sensor - SCI Port 3

SCI DAQ Module - IIC

LED Strip - P0

Sample Code

icon greenhouse (Code).zip 327KB Download(10)
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