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Infinity Charter School Team Wins Nanoline Contest

April 2, 2012
Middleschoolers Win Trip to Germany, for Their Smart, Solar, Mobile Charging Station

A team of seventh- and eighth-grade students from Infinity Charter School in Penbrook, Pa., has won a trip to Hannover, Germany, in Phoenix Contact's Nanoline Contest. The announcement came as part of Phoenix Contact's National Engineers Week celebration on Feb. 19-25.

The team built a smart, solar, mobile charging station (SSMCS), which can intelligently track the sun for non-stationary applications, such as electric vehicles or boats. It uses solar energy to charge batteries of electric vehicles.

Using Phoenix Contact's nanoNavigator software, the team wrote several programs to monitor conditions, such as time of day, level of battery, whether the car is on or off, and the acceptable voltage difference. Based on these conditions, the Nanoline controller can maximize the vehicle's charging capabilities. The system also uses the Nanoline's SMS capability to send the operator a text message about the current battery level.

Team members are Sam Wille, William Leuschner, James Thompson and Jerrett King. They'll travel to Hannover, Germany, this month, where they will demonstrate the project at the TectoYou Hall at Hannover Fair (Hannover Messe), which is the world's largest industrial tradeshow. TectoYou is a special hall dedicated to inspiring young people to consider careers in engineering. 

Second place ($500) went to Lower Dauphin High School, Hummelstown, Pa., for the computerized universal remote table interface system (CURTIS). Early College East High School, Havelock, N.C., took third prize ($250) for the HydroPal home water management system.

For the first time ever, Phoenix Contact engineers also voted on the projects. The inaugural "Phoenix Contact Engineers' Choice" award ($100) went to the Infinity team.

The Nanoline Contest challenges students to build a working control system using Phoenix Contact's Nanoline controller and intuitive nanoNavigator software.

For an overview of the Nanoline Contest and a look at previous winning projects, visit www.phoenixcontact.com/company/59147.htm.

Smart solar mobile charging station buildersThe winners of the 2012 Phoenix Contact Nanoline contest are (l. to r.) Sam Wille, Jerrett King, James Thomson and William Leuschner.