Pedro Rodrigues of Portugal is the winner of this
year's Premier Farnell's Global Live EDGE
2008 - Electronic Design for the Global Environment Challenge. Rodrigues'
design, an Intelligent Standby Energy Saver, automatically detects the standby
mode of electrical equipment and disconnects the power when it's not required.
Power savings is achieved by the intelligent control of power to consumer items
(such as televisions and entertainment systems) where the accumulated standby
power is effectively reduced.
His design won out in a field of hundreds of entries in the
second year of this competition.
The Live EDGE challenge requires entrants to submit designs
utilizing electronic components in an innovative way to make a positive impact
on the environment.
Premier Farnell CEO Harriet Green said during the
announcement that Rodrigues' application has the potential to "save energy the
Rodrigues says his main source of inspiration in creating
this project was to be able to use artificial intelligence models to include
equipment that has the ability to recognize standby and non-standby modes. His
background includes teaching and investigation, specializing in artificial intelligence.
"I'm very happy and very honored to be here and help
participate in this project," Rodrigues says. "Mostly what inspired me was the
personal challenge. I think most of all my contribution ... has to do with this
standby in electrical devices. My project allows us to recognize, through a
learning process, what and if the equipment is on the standby mode or on the
Rodrigues' Intelligent Standby Energy Saver can automatically
determine whether electronic equipment should be withdrawn from its power
supply or not. Sensors determine the right moment to restore power to the
equipment. "This way we can achieve energy savings," Rodrigues says.
"The Intelligent Standby Energy Saver design takes a
radically different and technically superior approach to determining power
usages," says Sir Peter Gershon, chairman of Premier Farnell and Live EDGE
judge. "The idea of using a neural network algorithm to accomplish Mr.
Rodrigues' energy saving design is original and clearly more efficient than conventional
energy savings methods."
Rodrigues received a prize package that includes a $25,000
cash prize and support services to bring the designs to market.
Two runners up to this year's contest were also announced.
Each received $5,000 for their designs.
The first runner up, John Tillson from England, designed a PowerShift
Power Controller designed to switch off critical loads during supply/demand
imbalances, easing the burden on national power grids at times of peak demand.
The system works by detecting the peak times of electrical power usage, then
switching off any suitable electrical appliances to lessen the total load
presented to the power grid.
The second runner up is Antonio Lalguna of Spain for his design of an
automatic irrigation system to improve photovoltaic systems. This device is
aimed at improving the efficiency of solar panels by 30 percent using a
rainwater harvesting system to automatically clean and cool off the panels.
Last year's winner, John Noble, designed a product called MyFan
â a ceiling fan that combines an electronically commutated motor and
controller and aerodynamically efficient blade design that reduces fan input
power by up to 66 percent of that of a traditional ceiling fan. It boasts
auxiliary output channels that drive up to 20W of integrated LED lighting with
up/down lighting modules. Noble anticipates having his winning design ready for
distribution later this year.