Request for Proposals, 2003 Future Energy Challenge

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Request for Proposals, 2003 Future Energy Challenge


    The International

    2003 Future Energy Challenge

    A student competition sponsored by the

    Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) ? Power Electronics

    Society, Industry Applications Society, and Power Engineering Society

    by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Defense

    and other sponsors

Request for Proposals Initial posting April 15, 2002.

    Revised based on comments, and updated April 19, 2002

    Updates to topic (c), April 25, 2002. Final updates (minor

    corrections) May 2,2002. Additional specification elements added or edited after July 15, 2002.

Full Proposal Deadline: May 31, 2002


    Summary of changes after July 15, 2002 (no changes were made between May 2 and July

    15, 2002):

Topic (c) is no longer active because of limited proposal submissions. A version of this topic will

    be present in the 2005 FEC.

Firmer dates have been listed for the final competition events and the February workshop.

Clarification to output requirements for topic (a) has been provided.

Additional clarification to output requirements for topic (a) added, November 2002.

    Summary of changes, April 15 through final posting on May 2:

    Topic (c) included in detail.

Topic (a) minor revisions to the target mass (increased to 30 kg) and to provide a consistent

    volume limit (88.5 L). The minimum efficiency is now 90%, although scoring will be arranged so

    that there are extra benefits to achieving the prior target of 94%.

Clarifications added in certain places such as the output power specification for topic (a) and the

    input power sources for topic (c).

Two sponsors (FTC and the Grainger Center) have been added.

Teams should plan to submit an electronic version (PDF format) of their proposal with the printed

    copies. Electronic versions will help to expedite the review process.


    Summary of Competition and Proposal Requirements

General Information

    Competition Title: 2003 International Future Energy Challenge student Competition

Topic areas: (a) Fuel cell energy conversion, (b) Single-phase adjustable-speed motors, and (c)

    Low-cost power for developing nations.

    Period of Competition: August 1, 2002 to July 31, 2003

Challenge Award

At least US$10,000 (and up to US$50,000, based on sponsorship) will be awarded for highest

    score among entries meeting all minimum requirements, as confirmed through reports and

    hardware tests.

Program Awards (actual number depends on availability)

Best in specific topic areas (engineering design, reports, and others): expected levels are $3,000

    to $5,000 each. The final amounts are subject to the recommendations of the judges.

Intellectual Property and Use of Prize Money

The Future Energy Challenge does not restrict the use or protection of inventions or other

    intellectual property produced by participating teams. There are no special licenses or rights

    required by the sponsors. However, the Final Test Events that begin May 19, 2003 will include

    public disclosure of each team’s technology. Teams interested in securing protection for their

    inventions should be aware of this date when making arrangements.

The prizes provided to schools are intended to benefit the team members and student team design

    project activities. There is a Letter of Support required for submission with the proposal, and it

    should outline the plans of the school in the event that a prize is received.

Outside Support

Individual schools should solicit project funding from NASEO, utilities, manufacturers,

    government agencies, or other sources. There is no limitation for the sources of project funding.

Eligibility Information:

    ? Eligible schools must: Have an accredited or similarly officially recognized engineering

    program (through the Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology (ABET) or

    equivalent); Be a college or university with engineering curricula leading to a full first


    degree or higher; Have the support of the school's administration; Establish a team of

    student engineers with an identified faculty advisor; Demonstrate the necessary faculty and

    financial support commitments; and Demonstrate a strong commitment to undergraduate

    engineering education through their proposal.

    ? Team Eligibility Limit: Each team is limited to one topic area, although each school can

    elect to support more than one team, at its discretion.

To confirm eligibility, potential participating schools must submit a Letter of Support together

    with a Preliminary Team Information Form when they submit the proposal.

How to Participate: Participation is on a proposal basis. Those schools that have submitted a

    Letter of Intent must submit a proposal no later than May 31, 2002. Proposals will be judged by

    a distinguished panel of volunteer experts from the IEEE and from industry. Schools with

    successful proposals will be notified by August 1, 2002. Student teams will then carry out the

    work and prepare hardware prototypes and reports. Preliminary reports are due March 15, 2003.

    The reports will be judged by a similar expert panel. The panel will select a small group of teams

    as Finalists. These teams will be invited to a competition event that will begin May 18, 2003. A

    Final Report will be due at the competition event. The team achieving the best overall results that

    meet all the requirements will receive a Challenge Award of no less than US$10,000 (and up to

    US$50,000 based on sponsorship levels). The best results in individual categories, including

    engineering design, engineering report quality, innovation, and other categories to be determined,

    will win special monetary prizes of approximately $3,000 to $5,000 each.

Please be aware that each of the three topic areas of the 2003 Future Energy Challenge will be

    judged separately, against a separate specification set. Each team proposal must address a single

    topic area.

Judging Panels

Experts from IEEE Power Electronics Society, Industry Applications Society, Power Engineering

    Society(and others to be announced), and representatives from manufacturers, national labs,

    independent test labs, utilities, and R&D engineers.


Student team project results will be judged based on cost effectiveness, performance, quality of

    the prototype and other results, engineering reports, adherence to rules and deadlines, innovation,

    future promise, and related criteria. Each aspect of judging will be scored according to a point list

    and Test Protocol published in the 2003 Future Energy Challenge Rules.


Proposals will be judged on the quality of plans, the likelihood that a team will be successful in

    meeting the Future Energy Challenge objectives, technical and production feasibility and degree of

    innovation. Other key criteria are evidence of the school's commitment, capability, experience,


    and resources to implement their design over the one-year span of the competition. Commitment

    to excellence in undergraduate education is important, and acceptable proposals will involve

    undergraduate students as the primary team members. Interdisciplinary teams are encouraged.

    Graduate students are not excluded, but the impact on undergraduate education is a critical

    judging criterion. Proposals are limited to 12 double-spaced pages total, including all diagrams,

    attachments, and appendixes. Schools that are invited to participate in 2003 Future Energy

    Challenge are expected to adhere to the basic plans described in their proposals. Approval of the

    competition organizers must be sought for significant changes in plans or engineering designs.

    Only one proposal per topic will be considered for any school, but each topic requires a separate

    proposal and team. Eleven copies of the proposals are due, to be received by May 31, 2002, at

    the mailing address provided below.

A. Proposal Objectives

Respondents should express their ideas and plans relevant to their interested topic area. The

    project should include the construction and operation of a complete hardware prototype. The

    proposal must address both technical and organizational issues for each phase of the prototype’s

    development and testing. It must contain a realistic project budget, along with a plan to secure

    the necessary funding. The educational goals, including any course credit provided for work

    related to 2003 Future Energy Challenge, and how the project relates to other efforts within the

    school and at the regional or national level should be addressed. A Letter of Support from an

    official of the school confirming a commitment to participate in the competition, and stating the

    type(s) and level of support for the team's participation in the competition should be attached, and

    is not counted toward the 12-page limit. Refer to the attachments at the end of this document for

    a sample.

B. Administrative Considerations and Limitations

     This section describes the limitations placed on the proposal. Compliance is mandatory.

     Language Proposals must be written in English.

     Length Proposals are limited to 12 single-sided double-spaced pages of

    text, figures, and appendixes. The page size must be 8.5" x 11" or

    A4 and the font size must be no smaller than 10 point. Margins

    should be at least 25 mm. The Preliminary Team Information form

    (Attachment 1 in this RFP), support letters from the school,

    government entities, or private sector organizations will not count

    in the proposal length.

     Authors Proposals are to be prepared by the student team in collaboration

    with the faculty advisors.

     Signatures Proposals must be signed by all authors of the proposal and the

    faculty advisor.


     Letter of Support Proposals must be accompanied by a letter of support from an

    appropriate Dean, Department Chair, or other authorized school

    official. The letter must confirm the school’s commitment to

    participate. It must also state the type(s) and value of support from

    the institution. School support should match the value of cash and

    in-kind support from the team's principal sponsors. Additional

    letters of support from other team sponsors are optional. A sample

    is provided as Attachment 2.

     Preliminary Team Data Submit one copy of the Preliminary Team Information

    form (Attachment 1) with the proposal, then an updated copy with

    the preliminary report to the address below. This form does not

    count in the 12 page limit.

     Due Date All proposals must be received at the address below by close of

    business on May 31, 2002 for full consideration.

     Number of Copies Ten bound copies and one unbound copy of the proposal

    must be sent to:

     Robert Myers Phone: (310) 446-8280

     Administrative Secretary Fax: (310) 446-8390

     IEEE Power Electronics Society E-mail:

     IEEE Industry Applications Society

     799 North Beverly Glen

     Los Angeles, CA 90077

     We would also prefer to have an electronic copy, in PDF format, delivered

    on floppy disk (IBM format) or CD with the proposal copies.

For Information

Non-technical or administrative questions should be directed to Mr. Robert Myers, Technical questions should be directed to the Future Energy Challenge

    Organizing Committee. The Chair is Prof. Jo Howze, Texas A&M University, The Vice-Chair is Prof. Fang Peng, Michigan State University,; this final version The competition website is

    of this RFP will be posted on the website.

Time Schedule

April 8, 2002 - schools submit letter of intent


    April 15, 2002 - Request for Proposals (RFP) sent (electronically) to schools that provide a

    Letter of Intent

    April 15-30, 2002 RFP is available for comments and questions from potential teams, and subject to editing in response to comments. (Final official RFP posted May 2, 2002.)

    May 31, 2002 - proposals due

    August 1, 2002 - schools informed of acceptance into competition

    February 9-13, 2003 - Future Energy Challenge Workshop will be held during the IEEE

    Applied Power Electronics Conference, Miami Beach, Florida, USA. See http://www.apec- for conference information

    March 15, 2003 - preliminary reports due

    April 15, 2003 - finalists notified

    May 18, 2003 final competition: reception in Morgantown, WV for topic (a) participants May 19-22, 2003 final competition events for topic (a). Final reports due. May 21-24, 2003 final competition events for topic (b). Final reports due. July, 2003 - awards ceremony at 2003 PES general meeting


    Competition Description

    Scope: An international student competition for innovation, conservation, and effective use of electrical energy. The competition is open to college and university student teams from

    recognized engineering programs in any location. Participation is on a proposal basis.

Introduction: In 2001, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership with the National

    Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics

    Engineers (IEEE), the Department of Defense (DOD) and other sponsors, organized the first

    Future Energy Challenge competition. The objective was to build prototype, low-cost inverters

    to support fuel cell power systems. This competition was originally open to schools in North

    America with accredited engineering programs. The 2001 Future Energy Challenge focused on

    the emerging field of distributed electricity generation systems, seeking to dramatically improve

    the design and reduce the cost of dc-ac inverters and interface systems for use in distributed

    generation systems. The objectives were to design elegant, manufacturable systems that would

    reduce the costs of commercial interface systems by at least 50% and, thereby, accelerate the

    deployment of distributed generation systems in homes and buildings. The 2001 Challenge was a

    success, and is now the first in a biannual series of energy-based student team design


To continue and expand the 2001 success, the 2003 Future Energy Challenge has been organized

    as a worldwide student competition. The theme of the 2003 Future Energy Challenge is "Energy

    Challenge in the Home." The objective is to introduce engineering design innovations that can

    demonstrate dramatic reductions in residential electricity consumption from utility sources or that

    can lead to the best use of electricity in newly connected homes in developing nations. The

    innovations should be low in cost, and should have broad potential for the future.

Topics and Descriptions: The competition addresses three broad topic areas: (a) fuel cell energy

    conversion, (b) single-phase adjustable-speed motors, and (c) low-cost power for developing

    nations, respectively described as follows:

    a) Energy processing to support the use of solid-oxide fuel cells to provide non-utility and

    ultra-clean residential electricity. The US Department of Energy and Department of

    Defense have agreed to provide prize money for substantial cost reductions in inverter

    technology for such sources. The target cost is less than US$40/kW for a 10 kW inverter

    interface system (not including an electric grid interface nor the battery). The hardware

    prototypes judged as best will be tested in a fuel cell system at the DOE National Energy

    Technology Laboratory. The school with the most cost-effective design and that can meet

    or exceed the aggressive cost target, and that provides a fully functional prototype, will be

    awarded with a large prize.

    b) Innovations in motors and motor drive systems that produce deep cuts in losses and costs

    for home (appliance) use, or that could replace ―universal motor‖ brush machines in

    residential applications. For example, use three-phase motors and motor drives that

    operate from single-phase power, reduce appliance in-rush currents associated with motor

    starting, and enhance motor efficiency across a wide load range are of interest. Target


    hardware costs are US$40 for a combination motor and motor controller that can operate from a single-phase residential source, deliver rated shaft load of 3/4 HP (or 500 W) at 1500 RPM, exhibit a useful speed control range of at least 150 RPM to 5000 RPM, and provide power efficiency of at least 70% for loads ranging from 50 W to 500 W at a specified speed. The hardware prototypes judged as best will be tested at a DOE or DOD National Laboratory. The school with the most cost-effective design and that can meet or exceed the aggressive cost target, and that provides a fully functional prototype, will be awarded with a large prize.

    c) Efficient, cost-effective electrification for homes in developing nations. This involves low-cost local energy sources, and emphasizes innovations to allow small amounts of power to make significant impacts on standards of living. The target system addresses ways to produce and use a power-limited 100 W source. The objectives are to prepare a cost-effective low energy source, and to improve the quality of life in the most effective manner for a household if just a small power level is available. The system involves the design of small, low-cost, self-contained solar, wind, or other non-fuel power systems (plus any energy storage), capable of delivering 100 W over several hours at costs in the range of US$0.10/kWhr to US$0.20/kWhr when amortized over a required ten-year life. The system should provide for prioritized control of three different domestic loads. Entries and prototypes will be judged with the assistance of the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, U.S. Department of Defense, or through arrangements with government or scientific facilities in other nations.


    Detailed Description, Proposal Preparation and

    Specifications of Each Topic

Request for Proposals Topic (a) Fuel cell energy conversion

The main goal of the Fuel Cell Inverter Challenge is to develop low-cost power processing

    systems that support the commercialization of a solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC) power generation

    system to provide non-utility and ultra-clean residential electricity. For residential applications,

    the 5 kW SOFC is supplemented with a 5 kW battery set to meet extended-duration power-

    demand periods exceeding 5 kW and short-duration transient high power loads. Thus the target

    inverter rating is 10 kW. The US Department of Energy and Department of Defense have agreed

    to provide prize money for substantial cost reductions in inverter technology for such sources.

    The competition runs under the auspices of the IEEE Power Electronics Society, the IEEE

    Industrial Applications Society, The IEEE Power Engineering Society and the IEEE Industrial

    Electronics Society.

The target cost of a stand-alone, i.e. non-utility linked, 10 kW power processing unit should be

    less than US$40/kW for the inverter interface system when produced at large quantities.

    Emphasis is also placed on high-energy efficiency as this has direct impact of size and cost of the

    SOFC system and overall system fuel efficiency. The hardware prototypes judged as best will be

    tested first in a fuel cell emulator and subsequently in a fuel cell system at the DOE National

    Energy Technology Laboratory. The fuel cell system will be provided by Fuel Cell Technologies,

    Ltd. The school with the most cost-effective design, which meets or exceeds the aggressive cost

    target, and provides a fully functional prototype, will be awarded with a large prize. In the event

    that multiple designs meet the specification requirements, and are judged to be comparable on a

    cost basis, the Challenge Award will be given to the design with the best energy efficiency.


     Encourage the development of technologies to reduce the cost of inverters (power

    processors) that are designed for domestic energy sources.

     Incorporate practicality, potential manufacturability, and affordability into the

    competition assessment process.

     Demonstrate technical progress toward and potential of advanced technologies that may

    help achieve the goals of this competition.

     Improve engineering education and foster practical learning through the development of

    innovative team-based engineering solutions to complex technical problems.


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