Sunflowers power Irish bright sparks


The Irish Independent reports that a car powered on vegetable oil has earned a team of Irish bright sparks second place in a worldwide technology competition in Paris.

Brian Byrne, Aodhan Coffey and Karl O'Dwyer - or 'Team AcidRain' from NUI Maynooth - drove their 'Voila-Mobile' to the French capital on sunflower oil for the Microsoft Imagine Cup, which attracted entries from 200,000 of the brightest young minds from 100 countries (Click Here).

They beat off tough competition from China, Korea, Poland and Ukraine to come second to a team of students from Singapore - who developed a system for monitoring air pollution.

Speaking from Paris after the results were announced, team captain, Brian Byrne said they were "absolutely thrilled" with the result. "We've put in a lot of hard work and effort in preparing for the Microsoft Imagine Cup and to make it to the final six teams was a fantastic achievement. To have come second is even better.

"The experience of showcasing our fuel conversion kit to so many interested and influential people creates exciting opportunities for the project. All that's left for us to do now is to drive back home in our sunflower oil-powered car."

The unique 'one size fits all' kit, will convert any diesel engine to run on any type of vegetable oil.

Paul Rellis, Managing Director of Microsoft Ireland praised the team for their achievement. "I thought that if they made it to Paris they would have to be serious contenders for the finals" - he said.

A design team from Sligo IT also made it to Paris with ParkIT - a system for helping motorists find parking using CCTV information and mobile phones. "It was a great opportunity for us and we think our idea has huge potential" - said team member, Cristina Luminea.

For more information - Click Here

Source - The Irish Independent