Winner Sheng Yuan receives his prize from judging panel member Giorgio Cacopardo of Marsilli.

Magnetic field harvesting project triumphs in CWIEME Challenge

Key players in the electrical and electromagnetic industries gathered to watch student teams battle it out for a €1,000 prize in the first ever CWIEME Challenge this month.

The initiative, sponsored by CWIEME exhibitor Marsilli, aims to discover the most innovative electrical design and engineering projects from students around the world and introduce them to the industry’s leading manufacturers.

Four teams were selected to present at a live final at this month’s CWIEMI show in Berlin, where the students were judged on communication and presentation, relevance to industry needs, technical innovation and potential for industrialisation. Solo entrant Sheng Yuan from the University of Liverpool scored the highest and was announced the overall champion.

Sheng presented his PhD project on the potential to harvest magnetic field energy to power condition monitoring devices, such as partial discharge sensors and infrared detectors at electrical substations, as well as real-time weather stations beneath overhead power lines.

His proposal includes a novel bowtie-shaped core, which he discovered to have a much higher magnetic moment and as much as five times greater power output than a conventional solenoid, and a switch in the matching circuit, which could increase transmission efficiency by 30 per cent. These innovations could significantly improve the reliability of condition monitoring devices, and reduce their maintenance and running costs.

“It’s an honour to have won this prize. I enjoyed the opportunity to demonstrate my project – how it can be beneficial to the industry and society at large and how we can improve the facilities we currently have. CWIEME Berlin is also an excellent event for students to find out what the industry needs and what we can do. As students, we have lots of ideas, and with the support of the manufacturers, we can achieve great things,” says Yuan.

Other projects in the final included the implementation of a DC/DC converter powered by a DC voltage inverter circuit, an integrated motor drive system, as well as the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology’s winning electric racecar from the 2014 Formula Student grand prix.

“Sheng’s project stood out because we could see its industrialisation in the near future and there was some ingenious thinking behind it – but all the competitors worked with impressive enthusiasm and patience,” notes judge Giorgio Cacopardo, sales director at sponsor Marsilli.

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