And the winner of the $1 Million Little Box Challenge is…CE+T Power’s Red Electrical Devils

Posted by Ross Koningstein, Engineering Director Emeritus, Google Research

In July 2014, Google and the IEEE launched the $1 Million Little Box Challenge, an open competition to design and build a small kW-scale inverter with a power density greater than 50 Watts per cubic inch while meeting a number of other specifications related to efficiency, electrical noise and thermal performance. Over 2,000 teams from across the world registered for the competition and more than 80 proposals qualified for review by IEEE Power Electronics Society and Google. In October 2015, 18 finalists were selected to bring their inverters to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for testing.

Today, Google and the IEEE are proud to announce that the grand prize winner of the $1 Million Little Box Challenge is CE+T Power’s Red Electrical Devils. The Red Electrical Devils (named after Belgium’s national soccer team) were declared the winner by a consensus of judges from Google, IEEE Power Electronics Society and NREL. Honorable mentions go to teams from Schneider Electric and Virginia Tech’s Future Energy Electronics Center.

CE+T Power’s Red Electrical Devils receive $1 Million Little Box Challenge Prize

Schneider, Virginia Tech and The Red Electrical Devils all built 2kW inverters that passed 100 hours of testing at NREL, adhered to the technical specifications of the competition, and were recognized today in a ceremony at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit in Washington, DC. Among the 3 finalists, the Red Electric Devils’ inverter had the highest power density and smallest volume.

Impressively, the winning team exceeded the power density goal for the competition by a factor of 3, which is more than 10 times more compact than commercially available inverters! When we initially brainstormed technical targets for the Little Box Challenge, some of us at Google didn’t think such audacious goals could be achieved. Three teams from around the world proved decisively that it could be done.

Our takeaway: Establish a worthy goal and smart people will exceed it!

Congratulations again to CE+T Power’s Red Electrical Devils, Schneider Electric and Virginia Tech’s Future Energy Electronics and sincere thanks to our collaborators at IEEE and NREL. The finalist’s technical approach documents will be posted on the Little Box Challenge website until December 31, 2017. We hope this helps advance the state of the art and innovation in kW-scale inverters.

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Get-AzureResourceGroupGalleryTemplate is missing (and a fix)

Last September, I wrote about what I call ‘The Great Azure Cmdlet Renaming’. Well, I’m now in the process of actually using the resultant cmdlets and I am having some minor frustrations.

I am following an Azure Resource Manager training course, provided by Microsoft MVA. I suppose it’s bad enough that EVERY demo shows stuff that no longer exists – all the demos are ‘wrong’. The new portal looks vastly different from the course, although with a bit of effort I can pretty much re-produce what the demos are showing. It’s tedious, but possible in most cases. And just for the record: the latest incarnations of the portal are very good – much better than in the MVA video.

But it’s not just the portal that is so different in the video, the cmdlets have changed too – with lots of renaming, etc. One cmdlet that is now totally gone is Get-AzureResourceGroupGalleryTemplate. This cmdlet returned a list of templates in Azure’s gallery along with details of the specific template.

So, while you can’t actually use this cmdlet (it no longer exists), you can re-create it like this:

Function Get-AzureResourceGroupGalleryTemplate {[CmdletBinding()]
$IncludePreview = $false
$StartTime = Get-Date
Write-Verbose “Started at $StartTime”
#     Create URL
$GalleryUri = “″
if ($IncludePreview)
   { $GalleryUri += “&includePreview=true”}
   { $GalleryUri += “&includePreview=false”}
#    Retrieve all available templates
Try   {
         $AllGalleryTemplates = Invoke-WebRequest -Uri $GalleryUri | ConvertFrom-Json
Catch {
         “Error invoking Call to Azure Gallery”
#     Write verbose return information
$EndTime = Get-Date
Write-Verbose “Finished at $EndTime”
Write-Verbose “$(($EndTime-$StartTime).totalseconds) seconds elapsed”
Write-Verbose “Templates returned: $($AllGalleryTemplates.count)”
#     And return it
Return $AllGalleryTemplates

Set-Alias Get-RGTemplate Get-AzureResourceGroupGalleryTemplate
Set-Alias GRGT Get-AzureResourceGroupGalleryTemplate

It’s easy enough to re-create the template – I’m not sure why it was removed in the first place. If, like me, you think that the cmdlet should be re-instated, then feel free to follow up at:

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Villa Rosales-Abbiate un patrimonio per Buscate da salvaguardare

L’assemblea della scorsa settimana ha sancito una cosa importante: tutte le forze politiche (quelle che governano il paese, quelle di opposizione e persino quelle che si "affacciano" alla vita pubblica per la prima volta) hanno manifestato in assemblea il loro interesse per la salvaguardia della Villa Rosales-Abbiate e per un suo "recupero" pubblico dentro il tessuto del paese. Si perché la Continua a leggere

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Must Have Resource

Over the last 2 weeks an amazing resource was released.  One that I think is a must to have bookmarked for future use especially considering the adventures of supply.  The National Glass Association and Glass Magazine launched the very slick website and it’s appearance only can continue to help with the information and communication flow in our industry.  I advise you if you have not checked it out to do so and consider a subscription to stay fully up to date.  Congrats to the folks at NGA and Glass Magazine on this excellent proactive piece.


–  Monitoring the Architectural Billings Index (ABI) as always… the latest scores for January were slightly off coming in at 49.6.  (50 is the break even).  New product inquiries also were down from December.  The good news was a nice bounce out of the northeast, and the fact that January historically has had softer numbers.  I am not worried on 2016 at all at this point and will be watching the February totals on both the ABI and the Dodge Momentum Index for any signs of true weakness.

–  Speaking of 2016, Glass Magazine had a great article in the most recent edition on the potential growth in our industry.  If you have not seen it, check it out here.
–  Actually that entire issue of Glass Magazine is loaded.  Great articles on:

  • The energy code adventures in Florida
  • Structural Glass (which is a VERY hot product area right now)
  • Tips to avoid labor shortage issues- which obviously is a major deal in our world these day.

Next week I’ll hit you with my favorite ad from that issue as well…

–  I have written a few times on here about the difficulty we have as an industry finding project managers.  I do think I have another position that can rival that.  CAD Technician.  Looking on various job boards and the need for CAD people both in our industry and out are really mind blowing.  On that note it is good to see many high schools (including where my kids attend) offering 4 years of CAD classes as this surely looks like an area the world needs.   Maybe though we can get schools to offer glass and glazing project management to help on that problem too!

–  More industry meetings this week with IGMA and GANA having technical conferences in California.  I am unable to attend, but will follow along online as much as possible.  It’s at these conferences where much of the heavy lifting happens with regards to standards and guidelines in the glass and glazing industry.  So keeping tabs on it is very important.

–  Last this week; I was reviewing a residential interior design site and looking at some of the projects that they felt were best in the past year.  The one thing that stood out to me was the amount glass that was used- specifically decorative glass used as counter tops, wall cladding, and backsplashes.  Decorative glass has been growing on the exterior quite a bit and being used in more and more commercial interior applications but the residential application is looking like a very hot area and one where more and more glass can be used in place of other building products. 

 LINKS of the WEEK

–  Story that could be sad but swerves into the comical



–  I am not a big Facebook user but this piece helps explain some of the new additions to the site.  By the way, you can now “love” a post…
–  I ran this story a few weeks ago, and this is a wonderful update to it!

Anyone watching “The People vs OJ Simpson” on FX?  It’s been decent- though I think when it comes to that case I’ll watch and read anything.  This week- fun video from that series of David Schwimmer playing Robert Kardashian and saying “Juice” over and over…. Oh and by the way- the Kardashians have played an interesting role in this whole mini-series so far…

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Amori d’altri tempi

Lee l’andava e mi vegneva
su la strada de Moltrâs.
L’hoo guardada chi che l’era
l’era quella che me piâs.
Mi g’hoo ditt in d’on’ orègia 
Teresina voeurôm ben, 
lee piangend la rispondeva:
oh podess voeurètten men!

Lei andava ed io veni… Continua a leggere

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