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Engineering students make a single seater, solar powered vehicle

According to reports, a group of 20-year-old students residing in Thane and Kalyan, along with their classmates at Don Bosco Institute of Technology, Kurla have come up with a solar power based single seater vehicle. It has a speed of around 40kmph and on a single charge it covers a distance of about 50kms. Proud of their project, the college held a grand inauguration on March 19.

Residents of Thane, Shruti Loknathan, Vishnu Narayanan and Thomas Chacko along with Joanna Joy from Kalyan and their classmates, and team leaders, Thomas Tom, Alan D’souza and Lijo Joykutty have made this vehicle with the help of Tefkab Engineers. Based on the initial letter of their name, they have named the project, Trike.

“Catia, a software which was essential for designing the vehicle, was well known to Thomas Tom, our team leader. We all put our heads together for around seven months and came up with the final design of the vehicle. Tefkab Engineers helped us with its fabrication and finally we launched it in our college to a grand inauguration,” says Shruthi Loknathan, one of the team members.

These students are in their third year, mechanical engineering, they managed to make Trike in a very modest budget. “As I had done a course to learn the software Catia, we saved a lot of money while designing itself. Also, we wanted to make an energy efficient vehicle, which will be useful for daily commute. Hence, we came up with this single seater, with two front wheels and one rear wheel to which the motor is attached,” says Thomas Tom, member of the team.

The 500W motor can be charged either from solar energy or by connecting to an external power supply and can carry a load u to 300kg. The highlight of this vehicle is that it charges itself automatically from the sun’s energy during the day and thus avoiding the need of constant refueling. “To maintain its speed, its essential for the vehicle to charge itself adequately. We have designed the seat in such a manner that one can sit comfortably on it. It is also handicap friendly and extremely safe and convenient for people of all age groups,” says Vishnu Narayanan, one of the team members.

Another team member, Joanna Joy, says, “Even if you run out of battery there is an option of pedalling back home as it is lightweight, hence, it is a very feasible vehicle to save money on fuels. It has a 24V solar panel, with a speed of 40kmph and the battery takes around six hours to charge completely. Around 1.5 to 2 hours is its running time with a mileage of approximately 50km.”

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