SOLAR POWERED VACCINE REFRIGERATOR SOLAR POWERED VACCINE REFRIGERATOR

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SOLAR POWERED VACCINE REFRIGERATOR SOLAR POWERED VACCINE REFRIGERATOR Powered By Docstoc
					SOLAR POWERED VACCINE REFRIGERATOR
microcontroller improves performance and reduces costs by 12.5%
Dulas has successfully adopted microcontroller technology to improve its solar powered vaccine refrigerator. The new product controller has improved performance, enhanced features and lower calibration and test costs. The use of the technology in Dulas’s solar powered products will enable the company to enhance its competitiveness and expand its market opportunities. The annual sales revenue resulting from the use of microcontroller technology is expected to double within 4 years.
Dulas Ltd develops, produces and installs equipment based on renewable energy resources. The company is well established in the solar, hydro and wind electricity generation industries, and sells its products world-wide. Its product and services include turnkey hydroelectric generation systems, solar powered systems for healthcare and telecommunication applications, and bio-mass energy production systems, including commercial wood burners.
Employees Turnover Industrial Sector Technical expertise before the project Technical expertise at the end of the project

DULAS LTD
22 2 M€/year Refrigeration equipment NACE code: 29 PCB and discrete components Microcontroller

SIGNIFICANT ECONOMIC BENEFITS
Sales of Dulas’s vaccine refrigerator and other solar powered products were expected to decline as a result of improved products from its competitors. The
% products relative to 1997 figures 250 200 150 100 50 0 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 Year
Existing product Improved product

Sales revenue of solar powered

utilisation of microcontroller technology in the vaccine refrigerator has resulted in enhanced features and improved performance. In addition, Dulas has already started to introduce the technology into its other solar products. The combined effect of the technology utilisation in Dulas’s photo voltaic products will enable it to improve its competitiveness and achieve significant growth in sales as shown in the chart. The prototype development was funded under the FUSE programme at a cost of 27 K€. The increase in sales will enable Dulas to recover these costs within 19 months. The return on investment is estimated at 681% over 3 year of sales. The industrialisation costs were 35 K€.

PRODUCT IMPROVEMENTS
The existing photo voltaic controller of Dulas’s VC150 solar powered vaccine refrigerator was based entirely on discrete analogue components. It suffered from limitations related to the effectiveness of the battery fast charging process, and the level of user control and feedback. The improved microcontroller-based product has overcome these limitations and provided major feature enhancements including: • Improved battery charging system with monitoring and maintenance battery state. • Better protection to deal with reversed or open circuit battery connections. • User set up procedures and field adjustment facilities. • Display of battery voltage, charge and discharge currents. • System performance monitoring, recording and data transfer via serial port.

FUSE: Innovation with Microelectronics

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How to go about it
CHOOSING THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGY
Microcontroller technology was selected by Dulas to improve its solar powered refrigerator because it offered the following benefits: • Integration of most of the analogue and digital electronic functions into a single chip. • Suitability for implementing the user interface and control algorithms of the system. • Flexibility enabling feature modifications for different applications by software changes. • Low components costs for an annual production volume of less than 200 units. • Suitability for adoption in other product areas.

PROJECT OVERVIEW
Main Activity Duration Effort Overall prototype development costs Microcontroller development 11 months 140 person days 27 K€

A PARTNERSHIP FOR SUCCESS
Dulas conducted the project as a FUSE application experiment with the support of a suitable subcontractor. The subcontractor provided support in the following areas: • Training in microcontroller development and C language programming. • Review of the technical specifications. • Hardware design options. • Software development. • Prototype testing. The main project tasks, effort and costs are listed in the adjacent table.
Training Specifications Design Test Total 6 20 69 35 140 1.4 0.5 2.5 0.3 4.7 Management Task

EFFORT & COST
Company’s effort (days) 10 Subcontractor’s costs (K€)

YOU CAN ALSO BENEFIT FROM MICROELECTRONICS
Microcontroller technology has provided Dulas with the means of improving its vaccine refrigerator and other solar powered products with the result of expanding its market opportunities. You can also achieve significant benefits by acquiring the right micro-electronics technology and utilising it in your product or manufacturing process. You can get help from FUSE to realise this.

FUSE is a technology transfer programme, funded by the European Commission to stimulate the wider use of microelectronics technologies by European enterprises to increase their competitiveness and enhance their economic growth. The demonstrator described here is one of many examples in the public FUSE portfolio covering the whole spectrum of microelectronics technologies and spanning a wide range of applications and industry sectors. FUSE provides you with: • Best practice in acquiring specific microelectronics technologies and conducting full development projects through the FUSE portfolio of real life demonstrator documents. • Local training and expert support to plan your innovation realistically and help you conduct your project successfully.
Further information and support relating to this and other demonstrators can be obtained from the addresses below.
The Technology Transfer Node
Centre for Electronic Product Engineering UGCS Ltd, University of Glamorgan Pontypridd, Mid Glamorgan, CF37 1DL, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 1443 4824542 Fax: +44 1443 4824541 Email: mawahab@glam.ac.uk

The Company Dulas Ltd, Dyfi Eco Parc, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 8AX, United Kingdom.

The FUSE Secretariat European Commission DG Information Society – N105 200, rue de la Loi B-1049 Brussels Belgium

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