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zoom From left to right, Miguel Ballestero, Sergio Garay and Ignacio Imbuluzqueta, pose with the Prize.

From left to right, Miguel Ballestero, Sergio Garay and Ignacio Imbuluzqueta, pose with the Prize.

Last week in Madrid three industrial engineering students from the Public University of Navarra (UPNA) received the national Saft Award for innovation in energy efficiency and storage. Miguel Ballestero Pérez, Ignacio Imbuluzqueta Moreno and Sergio Garay Pérez, all 23 years of age, presented a project on the recovery, storage and reuse of energy in lifts (elevators). The prize-giving ceremony took place at the Museum of Sciences and Technology, and the three UPNA students received the first prize in the group category, ex aequo, shared with another proposal.

For their vertical transport project the UPNA team chose a product, well known worldwide and in daily use, in order to incorporate it into a system of recovery and reuse of energy and thus achieve energy and cost savings, as well as a reduction in the contamination arising from energy production.

Their proposal is based on transforming the gravitational potential energy of a lift into electrical energy and storing it in batteries for its subsequent reuse within the same system. To this end they decided to couple an auxiliary generator to the shaft of the motor in order to generate electricity in those phases in which the operation of the system is negative (a decreasing one with more than half of the nominal charge or an increasing one with less than half of the nominal charge).

The award, aimed at students from all over the Spanish State, is organised by the Saft Baterías S.L. company and the aim of which being to develop innovative technological proposals that enable implementing increases in efficiency and/or new applications of battery systems for improving energy storage. The goal is to provide incentive to university students, especially those who are following courses in Engineering, Physics, Chemical Sciences or Environmental Sciences, in order to develop ideas (reflected in proposals that have possibilities of being applied), and contribute thus to enhancing energy quality and sustainability.

* Elhuyar translation, published in