Electronic Products & Technology

Protocase, Inveneo issue micro data center design challenge

EP&T Magazine   

Electronics Thermal management

Canadian custom electronic enclosure manufacturer Protocase Inc. has partnered with Inveneo for the first-ever Micro Data Center Design Challenge.

Inveneo, a San Francisco-based non-profit social enterprise dedicated to designing and delivering sustainable computing and better broadband Internet access in the developing world, is inviting students, engineers, researchers and innovators to submit their design of a solar powered micro-data center. Due to the harsh environments present in much of the developing world, micro-data center designs must be powered by a solar photovoltaic system, be able to withstand intense heat and humidity, as well as run completely without access to air conditioning.

Using exclusively ARM architecture, the micro-data center device must also feature five central components within the chassis design, including a direct current power system, an energy storage system (i.e. a battery), racking for 15 micro-computer boards, racking for 10 solid state drives and a gigabit switch.

The top prize for the competition is $10,000 and the winning design will be built and deployed in the developing world. The second place team will receive Google Nexus tablets.


To support the challenge, Protocase is providing a multitude of resources on electronic enclosure design, including design guides, webinar and its free 3D design software called Protocase Designer. Protocase will also precision-fabricate the top designs in its world-class production facility.

The Inveneo partnership follows Protocase’s most recent sponsorship of the University Rover Challenge, wherein the company provided each of the 44 teams participating with a free USD $2,000 credit for custom-manufacturing parts and components for their Mars Rover designs.

“We are excited to have Protocase as a partner as its CAD software will help innovators design their submission,” says Bruce Baikie, executive director of Inveneo. “Even more exciting is that they will be building the winning designs.”

The Micro Data Center Design Challenge is open to applicants who are at least 18 years of age, in teams that range from three to seven members. The top two winning designs will be announced on July 15, 2015.

To learn more about the Micro Data Center Design Challenge, or to apply to submit a design, visit www.inveneo.org.


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