Ambient PV Wins UB Sustainability Competition | NEXUS-NY
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Ambient PV Wins UB Sustainability Competition

Ambient PV Wins UB Sustainability Competition

By David J. Hill | UB Campus News

A system that maximizes clean energy usage in the home by responding to the homeowner’s trends and patterns. An energy harvester that captures indoor ambient light to power wireless electronics. An innovative design for a wind turbine blade that’s more efficient and aerodynamic.

These amazing advancements in clean energy technology were among the winners at a pitch competition hosted April 23 by UB Sustainability. The event — “Transforming Our Tomorrow: A New Clean Energy Vision” — took place in Baird Recital Hall and was one of the signature events for Sustainability Month.

The competition, which was part of a larger effort to get students interested and engaged in the clean energy field, was open to college students across New York State — a team from Syracuse University and one from Rochester Institute of Technology participated. A panel of judges heard five pitches, then deliberated to choose the winner, which received $3,000. Second place took home $1,500 and third place won $750. A $200 bonus prize was awarded for the project that considered the social impacts of clean energy.

Second place ($1,500) — Ambient PV

Ambient PV is a project created by Rochester Institute of Technology students Dmitry Liapitch, James Sinka and Andrew Fleischer. Ambient PV (NEXUS-NY 2017) makes photovoltaic energy harvesters that capture ambient light to power a variety of wireless devices, from cellphones to television remotes.

“Ambient PV was designed from the start to take advantage of indoor lighting from fluorescent and LED lights to extend battery life,” Liapitch said, adding that they can also use 3D printing to produce their material.

“Ambient PV reduces the need for batteries by reusing the ambient light around us using our recyclable photovoltaics. We believe that the future of wireless electronics won’t have to rely on batteries for power because they’ll be able to power themselves using innovative energy-harvesting technology like Ambient PV.”

The following students also received awards:

  • First place ($3,000) — Philip Odonkor, UB engineering student
  • Third place ($750) — Hamid Khakpour Nejadkhaki
  • Social impact award ($200) — Kelley Mosher

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