Two UENR Engineering Start-Up Teams to Compete in GhIE Engineering Excellence Awards

Two (2) start-up engineering project teams from UENR will participate in the upcoming GhIE Engineering Excellence Awards program scheduled for October 2017. This follows the teams’ successful entry into the final selected three (3) best projects presented at the Ghana Institution of engineers (GhIE) Annual General Meeting (AGM) held earlier in March 2017 at Eusbett International Conference Center, Sunyani.

The competition, featured teams from other institutions like Reagent University (the 3rd selected team), Takoradi Technical University and Sunyani Technical University. The two projects were organized by the students’ design Project Co-coordinator, Andah Okain Kojo, an environmental engineering graduate of UENR under the supervision of Dr. Francis Attiogbe, who doubles as the GhIE Regional Chair in charge of the student competition and the Head of Department of the Energy and Environmental Department under the school of Engineering, UENR.

The two (2) teams, Mazitek Gh and the Dynamo Team (a subsidiary of ENACTUS UENR) presented their outstanding flagship projects namely the Smart Home Control and Automation System and the “Ride To Power” (Dynamo Project), Energy on Wheels For Rural Communities respectively.

Project Overview

Smart Home Control and Automation System (Mazitek Gh)

Challenged by the alarming rate of energy wastage in Ghana and the limitation of the aged and persons with disability to control home electrical appliances among others, Mazitek Gh has developed an automated system which can concurrently operate basic household appliances such standing fans, fluorescent bulbs, blenders, air-conditioners, television sets, refrigerators, etc. using smart mobile phones.

The system is also designed to automatically operate these devises within a set time period after which, these devices automatically stop operating thereby saving a great amount of time and energy. For enhanced mobile operability, the system can be run on GSM or WiFi in order to regulate these devices even away from home. The system can be put in auto mode which will sense the temperature and darkness level and automatically switch ON or OFF your appliance like the fan. The system in “No one home” detection mode senses whether there is someone at home; if there is no one at home and an appliance is still ON it shuts down the appliance automatically. Again, the aged and persons with disability will now be able to operate several household appliances in the comfort of their seats. The project once scaled up, is expected to save Ghana a considerable amount of energy which would have otherwise been lost to energy wastage. The team is led by Zachariah Mohammed and supported by Nyantakyi Agyepong Emmanuel, Martha Teiko Teye and Emmanuel Kwadwo Amissah, all of electrical engineering level 300 under the school of engineering.

“Ride To Power” (Dynamo Project), Energy on Wheels For Rural Communities

 It is in no doubt that access to clean and affordable energy is essential for economic and human development. However, according to endeva (ENERGIZE THE BOP) 1.4 billion people have no access to electricity. In an era where energy has become the major driver of economies around the world due to rising economic activities; alternative and sustainable energy consumption is essential for resource and climate protection. Aside from  the fact that energy from kerosene and non-rechargeable batteries being expensive with people in rural communities often spending more of their income on energy, burning of kerosene produces gases that causes harm to the environment and leading to 1.6 million deaths yearly due to polluted air. There are several rural communities in Ghana without access to electricity thereby crippling the medium to long term prospects of micro enterprises whereas having adverse effects on education. Alarmed by this trend, the Dynamo team under ENACTUS UENR, a non-profit social entrepreneurship team on campus has developed the Dynamo project which harnesses the mechanical to electrical energy generated in rotary bodies especially the bicycle. The team has built a reservoir system which harnesses this otherwise waste energy during day time riding for significant use at night. The power reservoir has an installed capacity of 6V 4.0Ah which can supply uninterrupted electrical energy continuously for between 12 and 22 hours depending on the load. Depending on the dynamo rating of the bicycle, usually between 2.4W and 6W, between 2.1Wh and 5.22Wh per hour of energy is generated and stored in the power reservoir. It has a 5V regulated USB port that can power electronic devices such as LED Bulbs, Mobile phones, etc. Also, it has an audio power input to supply power from the dynamo to the reservoir.

 A DC output which can also power 6V rated electronic devices such as radio sets. It has a belt strap to easily hang the device at a height on the bicycle. Interestingly, the team has also developed an innovation of redesigning discarded mobile phone USB chargers to build the product, thus reducing the menace of E-waste in Ghana. The product is also made up of a highly recyclable 3D printed plastic case. The team under sponsorship package from FORD MOTORS UNDER THE FORD C3 BUILDING SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES PROJECT PARTNERSHIP has already implemented the Project in Kanjarga in the Upper East Region after a pilot project in Kantro, an outskirt off the Catholic University Road. The team is composed of Timothy Asare, Percy Namba, MacDonald Amoah Budu, and Michael Yeboah, all of the school of engineering UENR.

THE GhIE STUDENTS’ DESIGN PROJECT

Following graduation, many engineering students will find themselves participating in or leadingmultidisciplinary project teams to develop design solutions to large industry challenges. Other engineeringgraduates will pursue entrepreneurship and self-employment, trying to capitalize on an original idea or design by starting up their own businesses. In these roles, and others, working engineers find numerousopportunities where they must convince decision makers, whether they be Vice Presidents of multi-levelorganizations or financial institutions/venture capitalists, to fund or authorize further development orcommercialization of their design or product.

The product design project competition is targeted to encourage student creativity and innovation on an applied engineering concept. This hand’s on competition is best suited for students that want to invent or optimize equipment technologies in order to solve market or societal problems. The Design Project Competition is also targeted to allow engineering students to develop their presentation skills and marketing capabilities by presenting a technical design or product idea of their choosing to a Design Review Panel as well as engineering and non-engineering community. Teams have the opportunity to persuade a panel of industry design experts and academics that their design is fundamentally sound in its technical merit, while proving that a design could result in a favorable return on an investment and create economic and social value.

THE GhIE EXCELLENCE AWARD PROGRAM

The GhIE as part of its annual programs will be organizing an engineering excellence awards program to honour outstanding contributions of individuals or organizations for promoting engineering excellence and innovations in October or November.

For more information on the project, contact Kojo Okain Andah on Tel: 0272346625/0200690728