Energy Systems Students are ‘Go Green in the City’ Finalists
When classes wind down in the spring, most students fill their newfound free time by traveling, relaxing on a beach or catching up on some hobbies they didn’t have time for during the school year. Emilda Totozani and Keyur Jigyasu, students in the energy systems masters program, decided to occupy themselves by trying to make electric cars range-less.
“It was the end of the spring semester so we had more time,” Totozani said. “I reached out to Keyur and he said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’”
They entered into a competition called ‘Go Green in the City,’ which was facilitated by Schneider Electric. Schneider is a major player in energy management, and the competition freed participants to create any solution related to energy,” Keyur said.
“We had nothing in mind beforehand,” Totozani said. “We just started booking rooms in the library and brainstorming. We decided on [electric vehicles, EV] because they’re trending nowadays, and we wanted to figure out why more people don’t buy them and why they’re not the primary driving vehicles in the world.”
Their solution vanquishes the fear in many prospective electric drivers’ minds: getting stranded on a deserted stretch of highway with no charging station in sight. Keyur and Totozani’s solution: a charging station that comes to you.
Called “Druber”—derived from the words “Drone” and “Uber”—their system allows drivers to use an app that summons a battery to be flown via drone to wherever it’s needed.
“Like Uber, wherever you are, you would call Druber and this drone with a battery would come and plug into your EV and you can move onto your journey,” Totozani said.
Disruption is minimal, as Keyur said the battery can plug in and charge the car during travel, with little to no damage to aerodynamics.
Their entry earned them a second-place finish at the North American finals—held in Andover, Massachusetts—and was also one of only twelve finalist teams globally for the final round in Paris. Their entry was chosen from a pool of more than 20,000.