Concentrating Solar Collector wins UW-Madison Engineering Innovation Award

Posted on February 12, 2006  Comments (3)

Solar Collector

An inexpensive, modular solar-energy technology that could be used to heat water and generate electricity (see photo) won $12,500 and took first place in both the Schoofs Prize for Creativity and Tong Prototype Prize competitions, held Feb. 9 and 10 during Innovation Days on the UW-Madison College of Engineering campus.

In a package about the size of a small computer desk, the winning system uses a flat Fresnel lens to collect the sun’s energy and focus it onto a copper block. Then a unique spray system removes the energy from the copper block and converts it into steam, says inventor Angie Franzke, an engineering mechanics and astronautics senior from Omro, Wisconsin. The steam either heats water for household use or powers a turbine to generate electricity.

Other 2006 Schoofs Prize for Creativity winners include:

* Second place and $7,000 — William Gregory Knowles, for the OmniPresent Community-Based Response Network, a personal, business or industrial security system that draws on networked users and devices to more efficiently verify burglar alarms, fire alarms or medical emergencies.
* Third place and $4,000 — Garret Fitzpatrick, Jon Oiler, Angie Franzke, Peter Kohlhepp and Greg Hoell for the Self-Leveling Wheelchair Tray, a stowable working surface for wheelchairs that self-levels, even when the wheelchair is tilted or reclined up to a 45-degree angle.

Read more about the 2006 competition

3 Responses to “Concentrating Solar Collector wins UW-Madison Engineering Innovation Award”

  1. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Engineering Student Contest Winners Design Artificial Limb
    September 3rd, 2006 @ 11:48 pm

    […] Related: Concentrating Solar Collector wins UW-Madison Engineering Innovation Award – Stanford Students Win $10,000 for Aneurysm Treatment – Hopeful About India’s Manufacturing Sector – India Manufacturing Data – compared to other countries – Indian National Level Engineering Students Design Contest web site by curiouscat   Tags: Engineering, Economics, Medical, Higher Education, Awards, Students   Permalink to: Engineering Student Contest Winners Design Artificial Limb […]

  2. Engineering Students Design Innovative Hand Dryer
    March 25th, 2007 @ 9:29 am

    “Two engineering students at the University of Iceland have designed an innovative hand dryer, which is powered by hot water and uses only ten percent of the energy that conventional hand dryers need…”

  3. Anonymous
    October 8th, 2008 @ 10:51 am

    Yes! Keeping in mind the drastic environmental changes and rising fuel prices going Solar is one option open to all at minimal investments. The Solar Water heating systems are so easy to install and most of them come in a Do-it Yourself kit, With the technological advancement the once heavy, bulky hard to move panels are now available widely in light weight easy to carry by one personal only packages. The advancement in technology is not only limited to light weight, but for those concern about the aesthetics of the panels, the good news is that the panels are now available with a variety of trim colors to choose from and can be easily matched to your roof. Saving about $25.oo on ones electricity bill every month on a residence of 4. We all use hot water, as one of our basic needs and what can be a better way, than helping our environment, saving our resources and ourself’s some money other than by investing in a Solar Water Heating System.
    There are a couple useful websites I’m aware off, that I would like to share with you
    1. – is a comprehensive source of information on state, local
    , utility ans federal incentives that promote renewable engery ans energy efficieny.
    2. – one of the many manufacturers of certified Solar Water Heating Systems available. One place I saw the light weight panels and trim color options I was mentioning earlier.
    Lastly, the local utilites in some areas also provide additional rebates and incentives for adding a Solar Water Heating Sytem to your exisitng water tank.
    Keep the look out on. Feel Good and save- money for you, environment for us.

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