Google and IEEE Have Challenged To Make Smallest Power Inverter And Win $1 Million

IEEE and Google have jointly started a competition to test innovation capabilities of engineers and innovators out there. This challenge is in electric energy technology domain. The challenge is called “Little box challenge”. As the name suggests, participants are asked to design a inverter with power density of more than 50 watt/cube inch in small size. If a participant succeeds in designing this kW-scale inverter, he will be satisfied with a prize money of $1 million.

In simpler words, inverter is the device that converts DC (direct current) to AC (alternate current). Google is aiming to scale down current size of inverters. The current size of home inverter is of picnic cooler, if innovators succeed in shrinking this size of inverter to as small as laptop or tablet then solar inverters can power all appliance in home. This will definitely change the power industry. This is going to be the big innovation that will create a new uprising in energy sector.

Following are important dates if you’re interested in participating in challenge.

◦ Team Registration Ends: September 30, 2014

◦ Submission Of Technical Approach By Participants: July 22, 2015

◦ Google & IEEE will Pick Up 18 Finalists: October 21, 2015. The finalists will have to bring their inverters to the testing facility in United States in person.

◦ Winner Declared: January, 2016.

Google has also published the specification of inverter that they are looking for –

1. Should be a rectangular slab measuring not more than 40 cubic inches

2. Handle loads with PF from 0.7-1, leading / lagging in islanded mode

3.Power Density equal to or greater than 50 W per cubic inch

4. Output 240V, 60 Hz AC, single-phase power

5. Handle up to 2 kVA load

6. Input 450V DC, with 10 Ω resistor

7. Overall efficiency should be minimum 95 per cent

8. Input ripple current should be less 20 per cent

9. Input ripple voltage should be less than 3 per cent

10. Total harmonic distortion + noise on voltage and current should be less

than 5 per cent

11. Temperature of body of inverter should not exceed 60 degree.

12. Only water should be used for cooling.

13. It must have FCC Part 15B compliance.

14. Inverter should not require galvanic isolation

You can check out official website of challenge to register. Participate in challenge to change the electric sector.

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