Two students from De La Salle University-Manila who proposed an alternative cooling system for high-rise buildings have emerged as the national champions in the Go Green in the City competition organized by Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management and automation.
Go Green in the City 2017 is the 7th edition of the ultimate global student competition, where participants offer innovative solutions to solve real-world business challenges.
DLSU’s Team Greenzone, consisting of mechanical engineering student Aaron del Rosario and chemical engineering major Iliana Tan, beat the teams from the University of the Philippines and Technological Institute of the Philippines in the national finals in Taguig City on June 7.
The competition encourages students majoring in Business or Engineering to create a project that promotes the use of renewable energy. The competition is open to all participants from around the world.
Del Rosario of Team Greenzone says their project, which intends to tap the power of the sun, can provide an alternative solution to the cooling system powered by traditional electricity sources.
“We found out that the cooling solution is something really aligned to our field, so we tried to work on that,” he says.
Del Rosario says what makes their project different is “the integration of different technologies” to create a cooling solution. “We try to integrate different technologies and focus on their strengths and key functions to make up an idea that is strong,” he says.
Team Greenzone will represent the Philippines in the regional finals where they will compete with teams from other Asian countries.
Schneider Electric Philippines president Claude Mazallon cites the importance of the competition in terms of contributing to energy efficiency. “[The Go Green in the City competition] is a fantastic career activity. It’s really refreshing [and] it gives a lot of hope. People have ideas, solutions exist. In itself, it already gives a positive message,” he says.
Mazallon says the competition promotes awareness among the youth on the necessity to save energy and build a better future. “There is no better way [but to] try to make them develop awareness,” he says.
“It’s a very different stuff when you get involved into a context where you have to find the solutions. When you spend a month [in a project], they are very committed and dedicated so they really spend their energy to come up with interesting solutions,” says Mazallon.
He says whatever the participants do in the future, they will never forget the experience of joining the competition because this is a type of advocacy they will carry around all their lives.
Schneider Electric Philippines human resources head Tes Portillo says Go Green in the City serves as an avenue for the youth to share their ideas in solving today’s challenges of global energy.
“Every year, we will do the Go Green in the City competition because this is a great platform to really hear about the innovative ideas and at the same time, [to] have an opportunity to get to know young, bright [and] talented Filipinos that we should all be proud of,” she says.
The grand winner of each region—North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Indian Subcontinent, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Greater China and Asia Pacific—will compete in the global leg of the competition.
The announcement of the 12 regional finalists, including eight regional winners, three wildcard finalists and an all-female group, will be on Aug. 7.
The grand finals and awarding ceremony will take place in Paris, France on Oct. 9 to 13, 2017.
A team from Ateneo de Manila University won first place in the global finals in 2013 for Oscillohump, a device that absorbs and stores energy generated from cars going through speedbumps while a team from Polytechnic University of the Philippines grabbed the third prize of the global competition in 2015 for Electrifilter which generates electricity as it cleanses waste water.
Energy Undersecretary Arwin Ardon who attended the 2017 national finals took the opportunity to discuss the energy plans of the Duterte administration and recognized Schneider Electric for encouraging the youth in creating solutions for energy efficiency.
“It’s really a part of the DoE’s [goal] to encourage our young students to do the inventions of today, especially things related to energy,” Ardon says.
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