PI Sponsors Team of Former Interns in Major Energy-Efficiency Competition

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 11:38 -- PI-SL

A Dream Revived: Power Integrations Sponsored Concept Car Finishes Test Run Ahead of Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2019

Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2019, the Asian leg of Shell’s global competition for science and engineering students to build ultra-efficient cars, will be held at Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur from April 29 to May 2. Objective of the race is to navigate the circuit using the least amount of energy.  In jeopardy of missing the competition just 9 months ago, Team UP Dagisik from University of Philippines Electrical & Electronics Engineering Institute recently finished a successful test run of its newly built battery-power concept vehicle.

Despite competing on limited school funding and a car inherited from the year before, Team UP Dagisik finished a respectable 7th place in a field of more than 100 teams in 2018. To keep the project going, team manager and 5th year student Christian Ong needed to assemble a new roster and find a sponsor. The solution to both of Ong’s challenges turned out to be Power Integrations.

To strengthen its relationship with local universities and boost recruiting efforts, PI’s Manila office launched its first internship program last summer, offering hands-on experience to power electronics engineering students in the Philippines. A standout intern on the PI Expert team, Ong recruited several fellow PI interns to form the core of the new team. He then presented a sponsorship proposal to the company and secured funding to build a new car for this year’s competition.

“Without Power Integration’s sponsorship, we would not have a team this year,” Ong said. “To honor PI’s support and the proud tradition of this team, our goal is to build the simplest, most reliable car and win the championship.” Weighing in at 70 kg, the new car is 20% lighter than last year’s. With custom designed BLDC motor drive board and battery packs, it reached a maximum speed of 40 kph during the test run. Many team members attribute a part of their success in building the car to the practical skills they learned when they interned for PI.

“Our Manila office has a close connection with Team Dagisik and the university’s EEE program,” said Design Team Leader Mark Calderon of PI’s applications engineering department, who received a hero’s welcome from his former interns when he visited the team’s workshop last month. “In addition to our interns, who are doing a great job on the team this year, many of our engineers also competed in Eco-marathon Asia when they were students at UP. We are all rooting for Team Dagisik.”

After working 40 hours per week on the project and frequently sleeping in the lab for the last three months, the students are currently putting the finishing touches to the car before applying the Power Integrations color scheme and logo. Follow their progress on Power.com

Click to watch the test run video