Ieee canada humanitarian design competition
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IEEE Canada Humanitarian Design Competition PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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IEEE Canada Humanitarian Design Competition. Organizational Meeting Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering University of Waterloo. Some slides taken from presentation on WE CARE solar suitcase by Hal Aronson & Laura Stachel. Objective of Competition.

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IEEE Canada Humanitarian Design Competition

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IEEE CanadaHumanitarian Design Competition

Organizational Meeting

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

University of Waterloo

Some slides taken from presentation on WE CARE solar suitcase by

Hal Aronson & Laura Stachel

Objective of Competition

  • Provide venue for students to gain practical experience in improving or innovating on an existing design under some of the constraints and conditions they will face in industry.

  • Competition involves improving a “solar suitcase” for use in medical clinics in developing countries

Maternal Mortality and Electrification

Municipal Hospital

Operating Room

Maternity Ward

WE CARE Solar Suitcase

  • A portable solar electric system that fits in a suitcase

  • Powers overhead LED lighting, charges walkie-talkies and cell phones, and includes LED headlamps that come with their own rechargeable batteries.

Energy Estimate: 40 watt PV Panel

PV Watts x Sun Hours x 0.5 = Energy

40 watts x 5 hours x 0.5 = 100 watt-hrs

Example Use of 100 watt-hrs

  • Two 3-watt LEDs x 5 hours = 30 watt-hrs

  • Two cell phone charges = 10 watt-hrs

  • Eight AAA batteries = 10 watt-hrs

  • Laptop for 2 hours = 50 watt-hrs

Maternity Ward Before


O.R. Before

O.R. after PV: 17 watts

Student Design competition


  • WE CARE will make the details of their “solar suitcase” platform available as Open Source Hardware

  • Participants will be asked to study this system and to propose ideas that will improve it, extend it or innovate it.

  • It is mandatory to limit designs to parts of this platform

  • All designs will be “Open Source”, and will become part of the open platform

Potential Ideas

  • Simplification of the installation

  • Creation of a collection of direct current (12VDC) medical devices

  • Enabling the use of Li-Ion batteries

  • Enabling the use of electric handheld tool batteries

  • Optimizing the charge controller

  • Improving the system’s serviceability and cost

  • Improving the system’s enclosure

  • Innovating the connectors and cabling

  • Improving the effectiveness of recycling and sustainability

Logistics and Timeline

  • Teams submit project proposal (100-200 words) by Jan 14th describing what aspect of the platform they will be improving

  • Progress report due Feb 18th describing work done so far, timeline, design specs, etc.

  • Final report due April 1st, will be judged based on innovation, quality, completeness, practicality and complexity


  • Open to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in a Canadian college or university.

  • Each team must be led by an IEEE student member

    • Other team members are not obligated to be members of the IEEE.

  • Teams are required to have a mentor (a professor from the institution where team is enrolled, or from industry)

  • Teams will have a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4 members

  • No limit on the number of teams from a given institution

  • No entry fees


  • Abstract of the winners’ work will be published in the IEEE Canadian Review magazine

  • First prize, CND $1000; second prize, CND $700; third prize, CND $300.

  • Top three teams will receive travel grants and complementary conference registration for the [2]Canadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering (CCECE); at this conference, they will be asked to show their designs on the solar suitcase during a tutorial session.

  • Students will be rewarded at a ceremony that will take place during the CCECE in early May 2011 in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Design Goals: Round Two

  • Maintain functionality

  • Reduce cost

  • Simplify installation

  • Provide suite of 12VDC appliances

Find the “best” PV Module

  • Manufacture

  • Friendship prices


  • Buy leftovers and used….


Optimize charge controller

  • Size: reduce Amperage (10A)

  • Type: PWM or MPPT?

  • Features: Displays

  • Price: trade degree of reliability if repair infrastructure in place?

Concentrate deployment

  • Better Data

  • Training

  • Maintenance/recycling infrastructure

  • Local assembly? Haiti; S Africa

  • Shipping


  • ShreyasSundaram, [email protected]

  • SiddharthGarg, [email protected]

  • Hiren Patel, [email protected]

    Please send an email to one of the three contacts listed above by Tuesday Jan 11th if you are interested. If you have already created a team, please include a list of team members.

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