Five students of the Canara Engineering College here have developed a two-wheeler that can run on petrol or a battery that can be re-charged with either electricity or solar panels.
Rakshith Kumar, a final year mechanical engineering student, Roshna D'Souza a final year student of electrical and electronics engineering, Steve Sequeira, a final year electronics and computer science student, and Naveen Nazareth and Royson D'Souza, who are in second and final year of the mechanical engineering course respectively, have conceptualised, designed and built the gearless two-wheeler by sourcing parts from Bangalore and Mysore, and with funds from “generous” sponsors.
The 75cc VSpark3 sports vehicle, with a single-stroke 4BHP engine and a 14-litre capacity fuel tank, is backed up by four batteries that can be charged with either electricity or four solar panels, placed on the front and rear ends. The vehicle is said to give a mileage of 40 km a litre. “This vehicle has back up systems for fuel. If the fuel gets exhausted, then it will start using electric charge to run. There are the solar panels which can charge the batteries as long as there is sunlight,” said Naveen Nazareth.
The batteries can be charged fully with three hours of electricity, but the solar panels require 48 hours to charge the battery fully, when it is fully used up. However, the solar panels can absorb the light efficiently from all angles. Buoyed by the success, students now plan to improve it further and bring down the charging rate of solar panels. During the day, the solar panel will keep replenishing the battery depending on the usage, Roshna D'Souza said.
Students demonstrated the vehicle at the “Rajiv Gandhi Akshay Urja Divas” celebrations held in the college on Friday.
Royson D'Souza said that they were planning to fit the two-wheeler with a four-stroke engine and develop flexible solar panels that would charge the batteries faster. A prototype of the “flexible” solar panel, which can be tilted to any direction, was also displayed at the function.