I am an ardent technophile and I love to do everything related to computers. I recently participated in HCL Jigsaw, India’s Premier Critical Reasoning Platform for students from grades six to ninth. The competition focused on real-world problems and the participants were supposed to find solutions related to them. It had participants from across the country and I was among the top three winners in Grade 9 who came up with a solution around the theme of electric vehicles.
There were a total of three rounds for this competition, the first one was an MCQ-based online quiz, the second round was a mystery room challenge based on electric cars, and in the final round, we had to solve a problem related to electric vehicles.
The problem given to us was that about an imaginary couple from Gurugram who work towards minimizing their carbon footprint. For instance, they installed solar panels in their home and also purchased an electric car. They end up moving to Jaisalmer which is in the desert area and therefore, hot and sandy. The problem was to design a concept for an electric vehicle that is suitable for extreme weather condition. First, I had to analyze the problem and then work on the solution. After my assessment, I came up with the idea that electric vehicles won’t work efficiently in Jaisalmer because the concept of electric cars is still novel and implementation is limited to big metros…there may be very few charging stations present in Jaisalmer.
Additionally, due to extremely hot weather in Jaisalmer, the heat will lead to faster battery drainage as the supplemental cooling system present in the car is automatic and is controlled by the temperature outside which will lead to a major decrease in the range of the car. We were also given some options for the solution such as using an Alternative Fuel Source like Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Compressed Natural Gas, or Biodiesel or an alternative power source such as Solar Panels/Cells, Wireless EV Charging, or Thermo-Electric Generator.
I found all of this very complicated and unnecessary and I tried to keep my solution as simple as possible. Therefore, I came up with the solution of adding a battery to the front boot of the car which is generally empty in electric cars. This would help in increasing the range of the car and deal with the issue of frequent charging. I also suggested adding a solar panel on top of the car so that the batteries could be charged on the go, solving the problem of limited charging station in the city. Both of these ideas were better than the options given to us as they didn’t have any cons.
As one of the top winners, I received a Trophy, an HP Laptop, an HP Printer, and Bose speakers. Not only that. I also got some learning opportunities at HCL Innovation Labs on real-life projects. It was a very enriching experience.
Raghav Garg is Grade 9 student of Shiv Nadar School Faridabad.
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