ASHRAE Launches New Student Engineering Challenge

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The 2013 Applied Engineering Challenge from ASHRAE is for the design of a solar powered (or powered by another renewable source) portable refrigeration unit with a holding volume of one cubic foot. This device could be used to transport small essential cargo (perishable foods, pharmaceuticals, organs, sensitive equipment, etc.).

The temperature inside the box must be maintained at 25˚F (or -4˚C) continuously without an external power supply, in an ambient environment of 100˚F (or 38˚C). This device must be easily made anywhere in the world, especially in developing economies.

The new competition was developed under the 2012-13 ASHRAE theme, Broadening ASHRAE’s Horizons, of President Tom Watson, P.E., Fellow ASHRAE. The theme emphasizes the role of ASHRAE members as leaders in the application of sustainable design and practices in communities worldwide.

“I’m asking ASHRAE and the industry to look at technology that can be applied throughout the globe in applications that are simple, affordable, and easy to use,” Watson said. “Specifically with the Applied Engineering Challenge, we’re looking for technologies that can be built very inexpensively and effectively and provide an immediate benefit to people around the world.”

Watson said he hopes to attract students around the world at traditional engineering schools and also students at other institutions such as technical schools that may not have been heavily involved with ASHRAE. The deadline for entry is June 2, 2013.

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