Build an Efficient Inverter, Win a Million Dollars

Little Box Challenge

Google and the IEEE are giving away a million dollar prize to an individual or team, that can build the most efficient and compact DC to AC inverter. The goal is to design and build a 2kW inverter with a power density greater than 50W per cubic inch. To put that in perspective, conventional solar string inverters have power densities around 0.5-3W per cubic Inch, and microinverters around 5W per cubic Inch. So in other words, an order of magnitude more efficient than what we have now.

For the challenge, the inverter needs to convert 450VDC, with a 10 ohm series resistor simulating a solar array, to 240VAC @ 60Hz. Testing will consist of powering various resistive, inductive and capacitive loads ranging from 0-2kVA. The inverter is expected to regulate voltage within 5%, and frequency within 0.05%, while keeping the enclosure below 60 degrees C, and conforming to FCC Part 15 B (Unintentional radiators).

If you and/or your team can figure out the most efficient topology, switching frequency, novel use of high power wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductors, physically reduce the size of the input and output filters, and keep the whole thing running cool. Then get registered before the September 30, 2014 deadline. Inverters need to be functional and the results of this test procedure (PDF warning) sent in before July 22, 2015, then 18 finalists will be chosen to bring their inverters in person to a testing facility in the United States by October 21, 2015. The grand prize winner will be announced sometime in January, 2016

[Thanks for the tip Dmytro]

This Arduino power inverter would need a serious upgrade to enter. And speaking of entering challenges, it’s still not too late to enter our very own Hackaday Prize!

The Hackaday Prize: You Build Open Hardware, We Send You to Space

 

For weeks we’ve been teasing you that something BIG was coming. This is it. Six months from now one hardware hacker will claim The Hackaday Prize and in doing so, secure the grand prize of a trip into space.

You have the skills, the technology, and the tenacity to win this. Even if you don’t take the top spot there’s loot in it for more than one winner. To further entice you, there are eyebrow-raising prizes for all five of the top finishers, and hundreds of other rewards for those that build something impressive. You can win this… you just need to take the leap and give it your all.

[Read more...]

DSO Quad contest has a quartet of cash prizes

Seeed Studios has launched a contest centered around the DSO Quad. In case you’re unfamiliar with the hardware, the DSO Quad is a low-cost standalone oscilloscope. It’s got four channels, two of which are analog, and includes an ARM Cortex-M3 processor as well as an FPGA. Why are we recapping the hardware with the contest announcement? Because the contest rules state that you are allowed to alter the hardware despite the fact that this is more of a software-focused event.

But what you really should know about are the cash prizes going to the winners. Rank in the top four and you’ll claim $3000, $1500, $800, and $300 in cold hard cash. But even if you don’t take one of the top spots everyone still wins. That’s because all entries are open source and will be found in Seeed’s DSO Quad forums.

If judging people is more your thing Seeed needs some help with that too. They’re looking for qualified judges and application details are includes at the bottom of the contest page.

[Thanks Petteri]

Chrome in the Pwn2Own Contest

Google has announced that it will be sponsoring a $20,000 prize at the 2011 CanSecWest Pwn2Own Contest. $20,ooo will be given to the first person to escape Chrome’s sandbox through Google-written code in the first day. If researchers are unsuccessful on the first day, then days two and three will be opened up to non-Google-written code. In addition to the cash, there is also a Google CR-48 running ChromeOS offered as a prize, but it will not be the actual platform used to hack Chrome. We look forward to seeing what comes out of this contest.

[via GearLog]

555 Design Contest, Win $1500+ in prizes!

Sure, microcontrollers are useful, easy to apply, and ubiquitous, but where is the fun in the easy route? Well, for those of you out there with a little imagination and a 555 timer sitting around, there could be rewards in store. Brought to you by such famous personalities as Jeri Ellsworth and Chris Gammell, the 555 contest has prizes and awards for a number of different categories, such as over the top designs as well as awards for most minimalistic. To top it all off, they are even selling T-shirts to benefit engineering education charities.

The craziest (and possibly coolest) part of the entire contest is that the it has all been put together by the hacking community, with no exclusive sponsorship deals or payment to the organizers being accepted. In the spirit of giving, we will be adding some Hack a Day merch to the swag pile, so keep an eye out for the skull and wrenches. Currently the prize list includes a pair of Beagle Boards, a custom hacked Commodore 64 Joystick from Jeri, as well as a number of other project parts and lots more. The sponsorship list is still growing, so all of our information is tentative (and exclusive!), but be sure to check out the complete list so far after the break.

[Read more...]

Google takes Science Fairs global

Teen hackers get ready to compete for cash and prizes. Google, the big G itself, is sponsoring a Science Fair but it’s not in a town near you, it’s online (no surprise there). Project entries will populate the content of a new corner of the Googleverse, with contestants 13-18 competing alone or as a team. The grand prize is a trip to the Galapagos Islands for ten days, but there are also cash scholarships for all of the winners. Check out their promo video for the event after the break.

If you’re a college student who’s too old to be eligible don’t forget to keep your eyes open for details about 2011 Google Summer of Code. Last year’s information is still up, but they usually release the details sometime in the first quarter.

[Read more...]

Roll the D’Icey

Most of the dice related hacks we run into have to do with pseudo random number generation, but today we saw something different. This sleek looking jumbo die is actually a prize holding box opened by a secret sequence of rotations. Using an accelerometer and an ATmega 328 with a sub-micro servo to control the locking mechanism. Worried about the batteries going flat and losing your treasure indefinitely? Good news! The batteries are accessable without giving away the secret inside.

It also turns out that this is an update to an earlier project from the same laboratory, so be sure to check that out as well to see where this build came from. Code is available for anyone looking to make their own, as well as a useful parts list.

[via Hacked Gadgets]

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