Young minds' 'power'ful inventions

Young minds' 'power'ful inventions

Young engineers came up with brilliant ideas at the seventh edition of the GE Edison Challenge event held here on Friday.

This time around, the participants presented unique solutions to the challenge – make power affordable and available 24x7 across the country.

A machine that can convert used cooking oil into biodiesel, uniquely designed wind turbines capable of generating three times more power than the regular wind turbines and many more solutions were proposed by the young minds.

Three students from the chemical engineering branch of IIT New Delhi wracked their brains to device means to convert used cooking oil into biodiesel as part of their college project.

In the process, they realised their innovation would be useful for restaurants and eateries in preventing wastage. The team won the first prize and took home a cool Rs 10 lakh as prize money.

“The machine invented for converting used oil into biodiesel will consume a couple of hours for the process. We have developed a working prototype of such a unit. There are a few more things that need to be addressed. However, the machine can help restaurants save at least Rs 5,000 every month,” said Mohit Soni, one of the team members.

Students of Knowledge Institute of Technology, Salem, were adjudged runners-up. They bagged Rs 5 lakh cash prize for presenting a unique design of high-efficiency vertical axis wind turbine capable of generating power three times greater than the existing wind turbines.

The project aims to maximise wind to electrical energy conversion ratio and overcomes the pressure imbalance on the existing blade designs.

There were three other teams from IIT Roorkee, IIT Guwahati and IIT/BHU Varanasi, respectively, in the finals. The top five teams were selected from 200 registrants across 55 colleges.

Mariasundaram Antony, general manager, India Engineering Operations, GE Power and Water, said: “Availability of reliable power has been a live issue in all developing countries. In view of the recent focus on concepts like smart cities, etc, absence of affordable, accessible and reliable power will emerge as key impediments.

“Hence, this year, we challenged the students to develop relevant solutions to address energy issue in the country. It’s overwhelming to see the interest in solving the country’s energy challenges from our young.”

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