According to reports, a team of engineering students from the Delhi Technological University (DTU) has developed a solar-powered car that will participate in the World Solar Challenge, a rally-race of solar cars to be held in Australia in October. This will make them the first team from India to participate in the event.
The car, called Avenir, was developed in eight months by 14 B Tech students from DTU, and was flagged off by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit from her residence on Saturday.
The 3,000-km race from Darwin to Adelaide is scheduled for October 16. The team from DTU, including four student racers, will leave for Australia on October 3. Teams from various universities, including Stanford and Cambridge, are expected to participate in the rally race.
The car can achieve a maximum speed of 85 km per hour on solar-power alone, and is the fastest and the most efficient solar car to be developed in India, said Dhirajj Misra, a third-year B Tech student from DTU’s Department of Electronics and Communication, and team leader.
The car, powered by multi-crystalline solar cells that can generate up to 1 KW electricity, uses a high-power brush-less DC hub motor. In conditions of low sunlight, the car can automatically switch to back-up batteries, keeping the vehicle going at an average speed of 65-70 km for nearly nine hours.
“With petrol prices rising, it is time to focus on alternatives. Our next venture will be a passenger car that can be produced on a commercial scale,” Dhirajj said.
The team, which worked on the car, was selected from three departments at the university: Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Electronics and Communication, and team members of each department worked on different aspects of the model, said Dr J P Kesari, faculty member in charge of the project.
UG students of DTU are currently working on projects to develop a wide range of models, including hybrid cars, a super-mileage vehicle, an unmanned aerial vehicle, an all-terrain vehicle and a robotic submarine, Dr Kesari said.