Udupi : A team from Manipal Institute of Technology and Tata Power Solar on Wednesday unveiled SERVe (Solar Electric Road Vehicle), the university’s first prototype solar car ready for exploring commercial viability.
This four-wheeled prototype, run solely on solar energy, is designed by the above team of 27 student enthusiasts. Weighing 590 kgs, this two-seater solar car can reach up to 60 kmph with a cruising speed of 30 Kmph.
Designed by students of Solar Mobil team, with an intention of commercial usage, the vehicle is custom-fit with solar panels designed by Tata Power Solar, said a statement.
Designed keeping in mind the mobility and commercial viability, the solar panels have been custom-made to fit the car’s curved surface enhancing the aerodynamics and performance of the vehicle. The customized panels weigh just 35kgs and provide upto 960 watts power and weigh less than half of the conventional panels. The car also houses a Direct Solar Drive, powered by solar panels, to maintain the cruising speed and is supplemented by extra power from its high-end energy storage system.
“We are extremely happy to see how our students have combined their passion for green energy, through the launch of SERVe. Industry-academia collaboration is the key to foster innovation among the student community. Hence, working with corporates like Tata Power Solar helped our students get technical support and knowledge transfer. The team looks forward to working with more companies for future projects and to continue to nurture student-level innovation,” said Manipal University, Associate Director, Dr P Giridhar Kini, Associate Director, Manipal University said.
According to Ashish Khanna, ED & CEO, Tata Power the project epitomizes Tata Power Solar’s belief that fostering innovation is the key for the proliferation of solar energy. “We not only encourage innovation within our organization but also propagate universities participation for this cause, since they can play an important role in driving innovation in partnership with the industry. The solar car is one of many ventures which we have supported, and we firmly believe India’s students will act as a key contributor in the progress of our solar industry.” said Khanna.