Team from IIT Madras wins 'GE Edison Challenge 2009'
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Bangalore: The team from IIT Madras has bagged the grand prize of Rs. 5 lakhs at the second edition of 'GE Edison Challenge' held at GE's John F. Welch Technology Center (JFWTC), it's largest multi disciplinary research centre outside the US.

In this edition, the students were challenged to provide innovative solutions in the area of renewable energy resources and come up with a realistic solution to address the issues in rural areas.

The task given to the participants was to choose a rural community with about five hundred to one thousand houses near their home or college, understand the community’s energy requirements, investigate the available resources, and then propose a novel technology/methodology that is sustainable and cost-effective to improve the energy scenario in the community.

Team - Graminavitas, from IIT Madras projected a solution for power generation that involved gasifying dehusked paddy and distributing the power generated through the innovative concept of the AC coupled microgrid. The idea was based on the construction of community toilets keeping in mind the village dynamics and also using the waste generated to produce bio gas and distribute it using balloon canisters succeeded in solving both the issue of excess firewood use and of sanitation. The village they studied faced the common problem of poor sanitation, large scale use of firewood and frequent power cuts.

Team - Graminavitas has been given the opportunity to propose a sound and realistic business plan and approach Technoentrepreneur. Promotion Program (TEPP), Dept. of Scientific and Industrial Research, Govt. of India for further funding to turn their ideas into reality.

"“The ‘GE Edison Challenge 2009’ is special as it challenges students to solve some of the toughest challenges that India faces through a sustainable route. The winning team has demonstrated this commitment to the core and we would love to see them implementing this model further and work towards bringing this project into reality. By partnering with TEPP, we want to also nurture techno entrepreneurs in the country who we believe can make a positive impact to India," said Prabha Chatterji, the University Relations Leader for the center.

Team Energy Boosters from Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering, Sriperumbudur came up with an idea of generating oil from algae. They received a cash award of Rs. 1 lakh.

The event also saw Team TOJOE from PSG college of technology, Coimbatore winning the ‘Employee's choice award’, chosen by GE employees through a voting system. The team’s project was about providing Thermal Energy from a solar pond which was used to drive a Rankine Cycle Heat Engine.

11 teams from IIT, 2 each from Institute of Technology and Manipal Institute of Technology along with one each from Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering, Hardcourt Butler Technological Institute and PSG College of Technology made it to the final round.

The judges comprised Dr. J Gururaja - former Advisor to Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Govt. of India; Dr. H Gouda, Asst GM, Karnataka renewable Energy Development Ltd., Dr. AS Rao, Former Director, TEPP, DSIR, Prof H Dasappa, Centre for Sustainable Technologies, IISc, Bangalore; Prof. Shivaram Malavalli, Technology Business Incubator Bangalore Cell of Ministry of Science & Technology. An internal GE panel of technologists were also a part of the judging panel.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 17 February 2011 )
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