Member company CE+T Power favourite in the 'Little Box Challenge'

CE+T Power, an SME based in Liège, is one of the finalists in the 'Little Box Challenge' competition organised by Google and IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).

For the competition, a global challenge was put out to build a converter with a power density of 3kW/litre and no bigger than a laptop (they currently have the dimensions of a cool box). The smallest converter would be the winner. 

The converter designed by CE+T Power, in the meantime called Effy, easily met the competition criteria: it is now one of only 18 selected from the hundreds of entries. 

Five Post-it blocks

Converters are necessary in solar energy systems for converting the direct current coming from the solar panel into 230 volts alternating current, which is directly compatible with the mains voltage found in most homes. The technical report submitted by CE+T Power actually went much further than the 3kW/litre challenge laid down by Google. CE+T Power's 3kW converter is even smaller than a stack of five Post-It blocks. 

In order to retain its leading position, CE+T Power along with its industrial partners, universities, various research centres, as well as support from the Walloon Region, presented an extremely effective design with respect to both size and efficiency. Sirris also assisted by making contributions involving thermal simulations and cooler miniaturisation. 

The technical report for Effy was submitted to Google in July. If selected, CE+T Power will have to make a presentation to the Google engineers on 21 October at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado. In January 2016 the winner will be announced, who will be going home with $1 million.