The development of an environmentally-friendly, energy efficient, and ergonomic device for the rapid heating and cooling of beverages is addressed here.  First, our product allows users to enjoy perfectly cooled beverages on hot days and continuously warmed drinks during colder weather.  These objectives are achieved while significantly reducing the ecological footprint of the heating and cooling processes.


This website describes the design process and engineering outcomes of our team in producing the Solar Sip, a product that achieves the goals described above. The Solar Sip incorporates solar panels that are connected to a rechargeable battery pack. The energy stored in the battery is used to power a thermoelectric cooling system or a heating pad to get your drink to the temperature you desire.  Through simple choices like opting for SolarSip over disposable cups or energy-consuming devices, we can collectively create a positive impact on the planet.

Problem Statement

The successful development of a self-heating and cooling cup powered by solar energy would revolutionize how people enjoy their beverages, offering a sustainable and convenient alternative for indoor and outdoor use.

By combining innovative technology, energy efficiency, and user-centric design, this project aims to contribute to a greener and more environmentally responsible future while improving consumers’ daily lives.

Ideation Phase

Our idea started as a desire to design a hydrophobic fumed silica cardboard straw, basing the importance on sustainability and the environment. We realized that the straw project would be quick and somewhat unimpressive, so we planned to market it with a sustainable cup that was also powered with solar panels and heated and cooled. As time went on, we focused all our efforts on the cup aspect instead, finding it a more valuable and interesting project.


Some other projects we considered before landing on the Solar Sip were a slot to put your phone while driving that would lock and prevent distracted driving as well as a solar-powered chair that would act as a mini electricity source out in the wild. All of our project ideas mostly focused on sustainability or improving comfort in our daily lives, with solar panels being of great interest to us, being an almost infinite power source attainable by just stepping outside.


We came up with our alternatives by discussing the different ways the self-sufficiency of the device could be implemented, all preferably incorporating solar power and cooling and heating. We did the brainstorming by sketching ideas on paper, discussion, and an idea matrix.


We used AI like ChatGPT do not necessarily come up with the ideas but to ask it what the limitations and maybe prototypes or material lists could look like for each design alternative we looked at.

Some of our original ideas included bigger containers that had different slots for cooling and heating and maybe even a self sufficient container for medicine or organ storage.

Design Alternatives and Ranking

We used a design matrix to screen different design alternatives and rank them according to their abilities to satisfy the overall design objectives. Although the cup holder won, we decided to go with the second-place winner because it brought more of a challenge, incorporating a moveable aspect into the project.

Final Design and Testing Results

Power and Energy: Our idea consists of the endless possibility that the sun gives us in terms of energy and we incorporated that into our design through the use of solar panels. The product’s final design uses 4 solar panels attached to the lid of the Solar Sip, each giving 5.5 volts of power, giving our system roughly 22 volts of input just from the sun. 

The solar panel wiring connects straight into our Lithium Ion battery that has an 8300mAh/12V input slot as well as another 9V output slot and a USB port output. The battery takes about 6 hours to fully charge but lasts around 20 hours on full charge.

Heating: To effectively heat our beverage through the cup we employed the use of a high-power 12-volt silicone heating pad capable of reaching heat of almost 87 C. The pad has a Metal heating element, attached to coated power leads, between two thin sheets of silicone rubber which makes it extremely effective at heat transfer.


We slide this heating pad right into our cup holder for the most effective heating effect on the aluminum and at the same time it acts as almost a grip for the cup to slide right into and not move around.

Cooling: Our cooling stems right from a compact thermoelectric cooler. The thermoelectric cooler utilizes the Peltier effect which entails how Electric current flows through a circuit of two different materials which causes one side to cool down and the other to heat up extremely. Hooked up to our battery, it causes ice to form on of the cooler in a matter of a minute or so. 

This thermoelectric cooler is placed onto a heatsink connected to a fan to regulate the hot side. This is then slid into our design so the cup can rest directly on the cold side and be cooled with maximum efficiency. The hot air coming out of the other side is then filtered out through the vents on the bottom of our design, allowing the air to escape.

Bottle Design: For the overall bottle design, we went with a 3D-printed casing for the outside as well as a 3D-printed inner cup holder. The casing includes vents located at the bottom to filter hot air out as well as rubber feet to allow it to stand. The casing also includes holes for wiring as well as the switch to toggle between hot and cold. Velcro is attached to the back wall to have the battery be detachable if need be and a metal roofing is put on the casing to house the lid in a tall enough place so as to not disturb the entrance and exit of the cup.


Final Design


All of this was accomplished using Ender 3D Printers, Fusion 360, a Dremel, a Drill, glue guns, a laser cutter as well as a metal water jet cutter.

Project Video


Overall our project was a success, we proved that a concept like this could work, even with a simple small-scale build. Our vision for this project in the future is for it to be adapted to much larger scales, to use our technology magnified to be able to work with entire vats of liquid in a cheap and efficient way, for an entire population to be able to use this in rural areas for whatever the temperature need be, whether it be to cool their water or to keep their food hot, we believe that the Solar Sip could provide sustainable and cheap access to temperature regulation all over the globe, not just in a convenient first world sense.



  • Logo.com
  • chat.openai.com
  • Fusion 360
  • https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-cup-sun-image21570531

Meet the Team

Gonzalo Cuervo       Corey Moore           Alan Gao         Damian McCabe

Project Manager: Website, Presentation, Idea Building, Logistics, Assembly, Voice Acting, Photography

Assembly Director: Wiring, Soldering, Assembly, Statistics, Testing, Acting

Practical Designer: Testing, Assembly, Statistics, Voice Acting, Presentation

Creativity Coordinator: 3D Model Design, Video Editing, and Production, Assembly, Product Listing, Marketer