Manipal, Apr 24, 2015: Manipal Institute of Technology students designed the institute’s first prototype of a solar-powered car called the ’SERVe’ (Solar Electric Road Vehicle) and are exploring the possibility of its commercial production. Tata Power Solar, the country’s largest integrated solar stake holder contributed to the effort and rendered assistance for this student project. Designed by a team of 27 students who called the ’Solar Mobil team. The four-wheeled, two-seater solar vehicle weighs 590 kg and can reach a speed upto 60 Km/h with a cruising speed of 30 Km/h.
The solar panels are custom-made to fit the car’s curved surface enhancing the aerodynamics and performance of the vehicle. The highly efficient customised panels weigh 35kg and provide up to 960 watts power and weigh less than half of the conventional panels. It 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, a release from the institute stated.
Dr P Giridhar Kini, Associate Director, Manipal University stated that the institution is happy to see how the 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 students get better technical support and knowledge transfer. The team looks forward to working with more companies for future projects and to continue to nurture student-level innovations.
Ashish Khanna, ED & CEO, Tata Power Solar said, "We are glad to be part of the project driven by a talented student-team. The solar car is one of the many ventures which we have supported, and we firmly believe India’s students will act as a key contributors in the progress of the Indian solar industry."