The H-Bridges team of students from the University of Belgrade School of Electrical Engineering (ETF) have reached the final of the International Future Energy Challenge 2019, the world’s largest student competition in the area of innovative and technical efficiency solutions.
The semifinal was held from March 17 to 21 in L.A. and the 10 finalists, including H-Bridges, were announced on April 8.
The fact that the ETF team secured its spot in the final alongside teams from universities such as Virginia Tech, which manages a research portfolio worth over USD 500 million, speaks for itself.
The following 10 universities made it to the final:
- Delhi Technological University
- DHBW – Stuttgart
- Drexel University
- Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover
- Khalifa University of Science and Technology
- National Ilan University
- Tsinghua University
- University of Belgrade
- Utah State University
- Virginia Tech
The H-Bridges team won 4th place and the Best Education Impact award in IFEC 2018. 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.
“The prototype developed in the ETF’s Digital Drive Control Laboratory met all the competition requirements at the semifinal level. Additional fine-tuning in terms of performance and reliability is ahead. Work is under way on the final prototype, to be presented and tested in the final to be held in late July in Madison, WI,” H-Bridges told Balkan Green Energy News.
Students opt for two-stage boost inverter, smartphone interface
Various competition requirements must be met, with the most challenging ones being the given converter temperature rise and the power density of the device. The ETF students looked into various topologies and decided on a two-stage boost inverter.
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. 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.