The International Future Energy Challenge (IFEC) is an international student competition for innovation, conservation, and effective use of electrical energy. The competition is open to college and university student teams from recognized engineering programs in any location.
In 2007 a team of undergraduate students and Phd candidates has participated, addressing to one topic of the competition, that was: “Design of an innovative Integrated Starter/Alternator-Motor Drive for Automotive Applications”. The main purpose of this challenge is to conceptualize, design, and develop an electromechanical energy converter for operating efficiently (not less than 75% at cruising speed) as an alternator and motor. It is also desired to have a (cold) stand still torque of 30 N-m, for duration of 3 to 5 seconds, to accommodate the starter requirement.

On October 2007 the following teams have been accepted to the competition:
• University of Colorado at Boulder, USA, (Electrical and Computer Engineering Department), in collaboration with Indian Institute of Technology at Delhi, India, (Electrical Engineering (Power) Department);
• University of Padova, Italy, (Electrical Engineering Department);
• University of South Carolina at Columbia, USA, (Electrical Engineering Department) in collaboration with University of Nebraska at Lincoln, USA, (Electrical Engineering Department).
• Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran (Electrical Engineering Department) ;

On May 2008, after a midterm verification, the first three teams have been selected as finalists in the challenge competition, planned to be held at MPC Products, in Chicago, IL on August 20, 2008 and continues for two days.

During the final event in Chicago, the EDlab team has been able to drive the designed IPM machine achieving both a starting torque equal to 35Nm and a 1-kW output generated power at 3000rpm. Therefore these requirements were satisfied successfully.

The innovative design of the Interior Permanent magnet Integrated-Starter Alternator designed has been also presented to the competition judges at the final event. Two awards have been recognized to the team from the University of Padova:
Performance Achievement Award,
Innovation Award.

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