Apr 16 2012

Tufts Energy Competition Finalists

Posted at 11:26 pm under Uncategorized

These five finalists will be competing to win money to implement their ideas. Best of all, you get to vote! That is, if you’re at the conference

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A Split Junction Solar Concentrator for More Efficient Electricity Generation

Dante DeMeo. BS Electrical Engineering, expected 2013
Corey Shemlya. BS Electrical Engineering, expected 2013
Abigail Licht. BS Electrical Engineering, expected 2016
Chandler Downs. BS Electrical Engineering, expected 2013
John Chivers, BS Electrical Engineering, expected 2014
Advisor: Thomas Vandervelde, professor of Electrical Engineering

We propose developing a split-junction solar concentrator, where energy is produced from two separate photovoltaic cells which each focus on different portions of the sun’s light. We will examine and evaluate a prototype design which originally started as an electrical engineering senior design project and develop a more commercially viable model. We will examine and optimize each aspect of the design including solar tracking, mirror configuration, photovoltaic cell selection, etc. We will test the solar concentrator using commercially produced cells to evaluate its performance under real world conditions, and determine its feasibility as a concentrating PV system for utility scale or residential production.

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Giving Students the Chance to Choose Their Energy

Mae Humiston. BA Anthropology, expected 2013
Simon Metcalf. BS Mechanical Engineering, expected 2013
Joshua Metersky. BS Mechanical Engineering, expected 2014
Sarah Eilenberg. BS Mechanical Engineering, expected 2013
Hannah Garfield. BS Civil Engineering, expected 2014
Advisor: Chris Rogers, professor of Mechanical Engineering

This project would raise awareness about sustainable energy at Tufts by designing, building, and installing a kinetic sculpture above the causeway between Olin and Fletcher. The sculpture would incorporate some number of conventional turbines and/or an aeroelastic flutter-based generation system toprovide electricity to a demarcated “clean outlet” in Olin lounge. Olin and Fletcher naturally funnel thestronger winds passing over Walnut Hill into their interceding corridor, resulting in frequent high-velocitywind conditions despite close proximity to the ground. The fixture, outlet, and signage would serve as simple reminders that even the smallest changes can help our energy situation.

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Efficient Hygiene Initiative: Bringing Ecological Sanitation of Thottiypatti

David Riche. BA Quantitative Economics and International Relations, expected 2014
Kelsey Sanborn. BA Geology and Environmental Sciences, expected 2014
Sunaina Basu. BA Psychology, expected 2014
Meghan Bodo. BA Economics and International Relations, expected 2015
Advisor: Karen Kosinski, lecturer, Community Health

India aims to provide a sustainable alternative to open defecation in our partner village, Thottiyapatti, by constructing Ecological Sanitation (EcoSan) toilets. EcoSan converts waste into fertilizer, while minimizing disease transmission and encouraging resource reuse. EcoSan toilets work by separating urine and feces through a specially designed squatting pan and collecting them for composting and subsequent use. With the addition of lime or ash, feces dry into manure within six months. Diluted urine replaces synthetic chemical agricultural fertilizers that are energy-intensive to manufacture and ecologically damaging. The system is simple and self-sustaining: water and treatment facilities are not required.

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Solar Powered Uninterruptible Power Systems

Jonathan Torn, Fletcher School. MALD expected 2012
Ahmed Malik, Fletcher School. MIB expected 2012
Advisor: William Moomaw, professor of International Environmental Policy

The issue of power shortages is widely prevalent throughout South Asia and particularly in Pakistan. In order to have power when grid electricity is not available, many households and small businesses use Uninterruptible Power Systems (UPS). UPS are devices that store a small amount of power from the grid for use during power outages. They are made up an inverter hooked up to a battery. We want to introduce low-cost, user-friendly solar power as a backup solution in urban areas of Pakistan that suffer from power cuts. We will achieve this by retro-fitting existing UPS.

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Ocean-Based Algae Energy

Baoguang Zhai. BA Economics and Environmental Science, expected 2014
Casey Barlett. BS Civil Engineering, expected 2014
Brian Hayzlett. BS Mechanical Engineering, expected 2013
Farhan Shaukat. BS Electrical Engineering, expected 2012
Alfred Waich. MS Civil Engineering, expected 2014

Ocean Based Algae Energy generates algae biofuel by growing algae on the oceans. Our group has studied algae biofuel and believes that algae has the potential to become a sustainable form of biofuel. We have invented a system that grows algae in the ocean. Our solution solves three critical problems current algae energy industry faced: severe space limitation, water cost and nutrition cost. This is a sustainable approach that can make algae biofuel competitive and a revolutionary energy solution that could turn the vast ocean into farmlands for humanity. Algae energy could become “the next oil” in the twenty first century.

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