A student team from Coimbatore’s Kumaraguru Institutions have clinched four awards at the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge (MEBC) 2024, beating 35 teams from 25 nations.

The 13-member team — Team Sea Sakthi — comprised third and fourth year students from Kumaraguru College of Technology and Kumaraguru College of Liberal Arts. They bagged the Innovation, Design, Communications and Monaco Townhall prizes at the marquee event.

The MEBC is a global sustainability technology event organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco in Monte Carlo. Its 11th edition which featured 450 engineering students from 40 universities concluded on July 6.

Team Sea Sakthi was the sole team from India to qualify for MEBC for the third consecutive year. While it won the Innovation and Design challenge for the first time, it was awarded the communications prize for the third year in a row and the Townhall cup, which awards large improvements from previous editions, for the second time.

Yali 3.0 boat

Yali 3.0 boat

Despite third year of participation, the team’s boat Yali 3.0 had significant changes this year. Last year they used a dual energy source of battery and hydrogen cells, while they chose to go with only battery this time to reduce weight and improve speeds to 13 knots per hour. The team also went for a twin propulsion model, each with the capacity of 6.5 KW and also indigenously built a 10 KW Lithium Ferro Phosphate Battery Pack.

The team also built an operating system named ‘Yacht OS’ to assist the pilot in monitoring and navigating the yacht/boat. They collaborated with wearables company Ultrahuman to monitor pilot health and fatigue in real-time.

“The cockpit of our boat was designed by sandwiching a layer of carbon fibre in between natural pineapple fibre and this way the boat can withstand under cyclic loads and we were also able to bring down weight of cockpit by 50 per cent. This design was particularly complimented by the jury,” Roshan Manoj, a member of Team Sea Sakthi, told businessline. They also got appreciated for their ingenuity in using AI for navigation, he added.

Another member Hemalatha V said that they were unable to come in the top ranks in the actual race due to the overall increase in the weight of the boat and hoped that they address the issue in the next year’s challenge to emerge victorious.

The team was a mix of students from the college across streams such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and others.

“We are incredibly proud of the young students from Coimbatore who have achieved this remarkable feat. Their success showcases the immense talent of our students and signals a bright future for Tamil Nadu’s #innovation, industry, and entrepreneurship,” TN industries minister TRB Rajaa said in a tweet on Wednesday.