Companies invited to back ETF students as they reach IFEC semifinals



February 5, 2019






February 5, 2019





Our favorite university team are at it again – H-Bridges have been invited to the semifinals of this year’s edition of the International Future Energy Challenge (IFEC), the world’s largest student competition in the area of innovative and energy efficiency solutions, and Balkan Green Energy News is again inviting companies to support the young innovators.

Last year, Balkan Green Energy News published the list of companies that helped the H-Bridges team of students from the University of Belgrade School of Electrical Engineering (ETF) compete in IFEC 2018, when they won 4th place and the Best Education Impact award. The portal will do so this year as well.

In 2018, IFEC focused on the development of energy storage devices. The main objective of IFEC 2019 is to develop an efficient unidirectional motor drive for an electric bike, which is a fast, simple to use, and eco-friendly mode of transport, the ETF students tell Balkan Green Energy News.

H-Bridges showcase last year’s solution at Balkan Green Energy News’ Climate Village tent

Students opt for two-stage boost inverter, smartphone interface

Various requirements must be met, with the most challenging ones being the given converter temperature rise and the power density of the device. Consequently, several topologies have been considered, including a boost-type inverter, a Z-source inverter, and a two-stage boost inverter. Since the third topology, which proved to be the best, consists of two well researched wholes, H-Bridges have taken the opportunity to enhance the design.

The choice of the power switches is one of the most important tasks for power converter design, with the main objective being to achieve high efficiency and power density, they go on to say, also noting that two different requirements in terms of the temperature rise must be satisfied, with the maximum allowed hot spot temperature rise being 40°C (at 25°C ambient temperature) and the maximum allowed temperature of the device’s case 48°C.

The design of the user interface is another very important task, as the interface is the only thing that connects the user with a bike. The students have decided to use a smartphone with an iOS/Android application given the ubiquitousness of smartphones.

Call to sponsors

“This year’s team is bigger than last year’s one and now it counts more than 20 students. For me, that is the biggest success of the team, Aleksandar Milić, teaching and research assistant at the ETF, told Balkan Green Energy News.

The students have been actively working on the project since August and in December they were invited to the semifinals, in which they will be competing against the most prestigious universities from all over the world, such as Virginia Tech, Utah State University, Tsinghua University, and DHBW-Stuttgart, he adds.

“Semifinals will be held in March, and until then there is a lot of work to be done. I hope that companies will recognize the ambitions and the efforts of the students and that they will find a way to help them,” says Milić.

The companies that have already backed the team as sponsors for this year’s competition include Eaton, Hi-Tech Corp., Elnos, Elektrozapad, Energoprojekt Entel, Elem&Elgo, Mikro Princ, MikroElektronika, NDC, and ON Semiconductor.

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