IUB EEE Undergraduates Secure 3rd Place Representing Bangladesh in Efficiency for Access Design Challenge 2020-2021
IUB undergraduates from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, School of Engineering, Technology and Sciences accomplished a 3rd place finish with their project “Solar Direct Drive Vaccine Refrigeration and Effective Cold Chain System” in this year’s Efficiency for Access Design Challenge 2020-2021. Team Leader Md. Sadik Abdal along with his team members Nafiul Alam and Md. Toufiqul Islam Bilash, fought through 4 different rounds over a span of one year before competing against 21 other reputed universities from across the globe to stake claim to the award at the Grand Finale on 23 June 2021. Team IUB developed a prototype for an off grid vaccine refrigeration system that is capable of storing Covid-19 vaccines at optimum temperatures in off-grid regions by harnessing and storing the power of solar renewable energy in the form of “Ice Banks'' without any requirement for batteries. The three individuals under the supervision of Prof Dr. Khosru M Salim had already received funding from the IKEA Foundation and UKaid for their Vaccine Refrigeration project to ensure marginalized off-grid regions in rural Bangladesh and regions in Africa receive proper immunization through reliable vaccine storage and refrigeration systems. The competition commended their attempt to tackle the difficulties that healthcare workers receive while immunising regions with refugee crises such as the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh along with their efforts to streamline the cold chain system for vaccine transportation and the storage for perishable items with short shelf-life.
“Cox's Bazar, the region in Bangladesh where most Rohingya refugee camps are located, is thought to be suffering severely from COVID-19 related impacts. However, there is limited testing, and infection rates may be underreported. In Cox's Bazar, many people lack access to electricity to power refrigerators and keep vaccines cool.
To help tackle this, students from Independent University, Bangladesh, designed a smart solar-powered vaccine refrigeration and storage system. Their design converts solar power into ice banks that help keep vaccines at an optimum temperature throughout the night and on cloudy days when irradiance levels are low. The design also uses solar direct drive technology, which removes the need for traditional batteries. Increasing the availability of vaccines in remote and off-grid locations could help save more lives in rural areas and safeguard economies. Additionally, the lack of battery and use of solar can help ensure lower carbon emissions compared with a traditional vaccine refrigerator.”
- EforA Challenge Representatives
The goal of the competition was to provide sustainable energy for all and to enhance the efficiency and affordability of high performing appliances. The Challenge invited teams of university students to create affordable, high-performing off-grid appliances and supportive technologies.
This year’s competition started in September 2020 and ended in June 2021 and the universities that reached the grand finale were teams from Durham University, Independent University, Bangladesh, Loughborough University, Makerere University, Strathmore University, Swansea University, UCL, University of Bath and the University of Strathclyde.
UCL from the UK secured both the Gold and Silver while IUB from Bangladesh received Bronze. Among other winners were universities from India and Uganda. UCL and IUB had projects that highlighted solutions to combat the current Covid-19 Pandemic with both universities making Oxygen Concentrators and Vaccine Refrigerators as an effort to lessen the burden faced by lower income regions due to the pandemic.
The Efficiency for Access Coalition and Engineers Without Borders UK are delighted to collaborate on the delivery of the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge. The Challenge is funded by UK aid and the IKEA Foundation. The Efficiency for Access Coalition is coordinated jointly by CLASP and UK's Energy Saving Trust.
The panel of judges included Robert MacIver, Infrastructure Adviser at Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Jeffrey Prins, Head of Renewable Energy Portfolio, IKEA Foundation and Jordan Broadbent, Business Manager, Shell Foundation.
The judging panel evaluated students' projects based on criterias such as: How designs improve on currently available solutions for end-users Their ability to enhance users' quality of life and feasibility to get to market at scale.
“Team IUB is now working on the second phase of their prototype and are looking for collaborators to help with the Cold Chain System and are also seeking further funding for future research into product development and market research and product scalability.
Progress is a slow process. Fortunately, we’ve got nothing but time on our hands.”
-Sadik About the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge:
The Efficiency for Access Design Challenge is a global, multi-disciplinary competition that empowers teams of university students to help accelerate clean energy access.
To provide sustainable energy for all, we urgently need to enhance the efficiency and affordability of high performing appliances. The Challenge invites teams of university students to create affordable and high-performing off-grid appliances and supportive technologies.
By bringing together and inspiring students, the competition aims to foster innovation in the off-grid appliances sector. It also seeks to help address barriers that limit market expansion in this area. Furthermore, the Challenge seeks to forge beneficial partnerships between universities, researchers and industry partners at a global level. In this way, it will further strengthen academic capacity within the off-grid sector.