The Intel Competition on renewable energies (CORE), launched in spring 2007, is soon to reach its crucial phase as the competing teams fine-tune their creations for the final line-up at the end of October.
The teams got off their starting blocks in April this year, when Intel called for European grey matter to get active in the noble quest to devise ingenious and eco-friendly ways to fuel laptops by using renewable energy sources. Many rose to the challenge – offering exemplary representation of European environmental responsibility and inventive ingenuity.
Teams made up of professors, students and researchers from prestigious European Universities have been planning and developing their eco-friendly devices over the summer. From the University of Technology in Delft (The Netherlands) to the Catholic College Kempen (Belgium), to the University of Technology in Munich and Dresden (Germany), the Dublin Institute of Technology and the Polytechnic in Madrid (Spain) and in Milan (Italy), an array of imaginative and noteworthy solutions has been coming to life.
The devices developed range from those converting human muscular power into electricity to those harnessing solar energy using photovoltaic panels, to those utilizing fuel cell based energy production. Even the apparently simpler solutions involving pedal power – including a bicycle and a go-cart – require a concerted effort and a good dose of technical acumen to overcome challenges related to managing the energy supply, especially when it does not come in an evenly constant stream.
The judges’ panel has a tough task ahead – facing a selection of proposals offering benefits from simplicity, reliability and low-noise to commercial viability, flexibility of implementation up to and including the promotion of an active lifestyle. Clean energy and renewable sources remain however the clear pivot-point and the laptops used in the experiment will be high-performance ones based on the leading-edge dual-core Intel Core 2 Duo processor, designed to use energy efficiently.
Once all the teams have submitted their chosen solutions, a jury composed of members of academia, industrial design, analyst community and IT industry will review and analyze all entries on their respective merits and select the winner to be announced during an award ceremony in November 2007. The prizes will consist of funding, in terms of assets, to support scientific research.
Whoever the winner – the real beneficiary of this program is hopefully the spirit of innovation and renewed awareness of the need to manage Earth resources in a responsible manner.