With petroleum prices skyrocketing every year, efforts to tap other energy sources including renewable energy to operate vehicles is in full swing all over the world. Having realised the growing demand for alternative energy sources, students of P.S.N.A. College of Engineering and Technology have designed a hybrid car that can be operated in wind and solar energy as well as in petrol.

A group of students - J. Aishwariy, K. Aikla, S. Anusuya, S. Apisha Banu, Mathew Chacko and Karunai Dhasan - along with assistant professor and project guide J.E. Moshe Dayan, planned to design a cost effective and environment friendly hybrid vehicle.

Vehicles run by renewable energy should have a back-up of petrol engine to run continuously without any break. Such a model would be fully reliable and meet energy demand.

With support from college management, the team swung into action. While girls developed solar part and simulation using fuzzy logic techniques, boys took the onus of developing wind power and mechanical work. Filmy Francis a post graduate EEE student too did over all simulation for the project.

Electric energy generated by solar panels and wind system can be stored in storage system and utilised for propulsion. Energy generated by electrical machine can be used for charging energy storage system. Due to utilisation of renewable energies, small size internal combustion engine was replaced in the vehicle.

When the vehicle is running in engine mode, the machine will work as generator supplying power to storage system and the same machine will work as motor while the vehicle in motor mode.

In the second phase, Mr. Dayan said, they have started modifying the first version to use them in autorickshaws. Cost cutting measures are on. Once it was achieved, this model could be used to modify an autorickshaws to run either on solar or wind energy.

Next batch of EEE students have been roped in for the next phase. Implementation of revised model on commercially run vehicles would save 30 to 40 per cent of fuel.

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