According to reports, the researchers at IIT-Kanpur are developing a three-wheeler which can run on solar photovoltaic-based retrofit system. Phool Singh Chauhan, a senior researcher at IIT-Kanpur is working on the solar photovoltaic system and the three-wheeler which runs on it.
The solar-based photovoltaic system has been developed for replacing 145.45 cc gasoline engine of a three-wheeler. The original transmission system with clutch is retained. Engine block with carburetor is removed and a series of 24 volts, 0.75 HP motor is connected to crank shaft, using flexible coupling. Fuel lines and fuel tanks are replaced by sealed lead acid batteries. Exhaust pipe and silencer have also been removed so that no noise is generated.
The main body with passenger seat has been removed and remodeled to mount solar photovoltaic modules, serving as roof in addition to powering the vehicle. The energy from solar PV modules is fed to sealed lead acid batteries through a charged controller.
The batteries also provide back-up energy during cloudy weather and at night.
The reserachers are working to develop smart electronic control to display vital parameters. The existing filament bulb-based headlights and indicators may be replaced with high efficiency LED lights. The brushless DC motor with regenerative braking may be used to increase the efficiency of the three-wheeler.