Proposals for intelligent street lighting and using waste heat to produce electricity were the winning ideas chosen by a jury of scientists and real estate and facility management professionals in the Campus Energy Challenge, a contest in which PhD students at TU Delft were challenged to come up with ideas for a sustainable campus.
The contest is part of the plan of the university to save energy, implement renewable energy and use the campus as a living lab for testing energy technology developed in-house.
Students Chintan Shah, Haibo Zhou and Vijay Rajaraman developed a system of intelligent street lighting, consisting of a sensor and a dimmer to be installed on individual lamp posts and a central control mechanism. At night the street lights are dimmed until a cyclist, pedestrian or car arrives on the scene. Then the lights come on and automatically shine at full strength. It is estimated TU Delft can save up to 30 to 50 per cent on its electricity bill if it implements the system. Shah, Zhou and Rajaraman won the €2,500 first prize in the category ‘feasible and effective’ and also received a commitment from the university to implement the system on the campus.
Student Mighael Vroom won the prize for innovative, longer term ideas with his idea to implement magnetocaloric electricity production on the campus. Waste heat, for example produced from the combined heat and power station, is used to heat a magnet, which produces electricity. Vroom also won €2,500.