Efficiency for Access Design Challenge is a global multidisciplinary competition that empowers teams of university students to develop off-grid energy solutions. The challenge invites teams to develop affordable and efficient off-grid appliances and enabling technologies. In order to revolutionize the global energy systems, the competition encourages the partnership between students, researchers, and global industrial partners to address the barriers in decentralized energy systems.
This year, a multidisciplinary team of students from NUST-SEECS, headed by Shoaib Ahmed (BEE-2018) participated in this competition. After a series of evaluations, the team was awarded the ‘People’s Choice Award’ bagging a total of 391 votes from the public and a panel of industrialists. The project ‘Evaluating the Potential of Smart DC Microgrids’ proposes an Intelligent Renewable Energy Management Solution for off-grid communities via Automated Demand Response (ADR.) Consequently, it addresses the problems of blackouts and power surges and increases the energy efficiency to maximize the utility of solar energy and make the photovoltaic solutions more economically feasible. A business model was also developed for the commercialization of the project.