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AMU SCIENTISTS DEVELOP SOLAR VEHICLE
By Dr Rahat Abrar
An energy-efficient solar electrical vehicle with new mechanical energy storage
(MES)system and a mechanical regenerative braking (MRB) system has been developed indigenously by Prof. M. Hamidullah and his co-researcher, Shamshad Ali of the department of mechanical engineering at Aligarh Muslim University.
The MES system is capable of reducing the initial current drawn by the vehicle and also absorbs the fluctuations in energy requirement when it is in movement thus keeping the normal running current constant at a low value throughout the running period.
The MRB system reutilises the kinetic energy of the vehicle,which is normally wasted in friction when brakes are applied. About fifty per cent of the energy is claimed to be reutilised by the system.
The three-wheeler eco-friendly vehicle has a solar panel mounted on the roof.The driver sits in the front much like a cycle-rickshaw holding bicycle-style handle bar.
Prof. Hamidullah said the solar vehicle was able to achieve speeds of eight to ten kilometre per hour. It has a range of about 25 kms with a fully charged battery of 24v, 120amp-hrs capacity.
Prof Hamidullah said the time taken for re-charging depends on the number of solar panels and their capacity.
At present, it can accommodate one driver and one passenger, but with suitable modifications like increase in engine power, it would be able to carry more load.
Prof Hamidullah said that Rs seventy thousands (US$ 1590) were spent to develop this solar vehicle on experimental basis. The eco-friendly solar electric vehicle may very well prove to be the green cart of the future.