Tata Power and MIT students develop solar car with 60 kmph top speed
SERVe (Solar Electric Road Vehicle) is the brainchild of students from Manipal University. It receives solar panels designed by Tata Power Solar.
This two seater solar car prototype weighs a total of 590 kgs, and has a top speed of 60 kmph on solar power alone. When using electric power, the car can reach 120 kmph. On solar power, it has a cruising speed of 30 kmph. The custom fit solar panels weigh 35 kgs and offers 960 watt power. Special Direct Solar Drive is also evident on the prototype so as to maintain cruising speed supplemented by added power from its energy storage system.
SERVe’s three main design and fabrication components include customized solar panels, a high end battery system and data acquisition. While the light weight solar panels made of a combination of aluminium and polymer for back and front sheet is placed on the hood of the car, the cars Li-ion battery pack allows 250 km on full charge. It is also fitted with CAN-bus protocol allowing for fast, efficient and accurate communication. For Data acquisition, SERVe uses a Rasberry-Pi central unit which is used to analyse vehicle performance.
SERVe has been designed and produced at a total cost of INR 20 lakhs thus making it one of the cheapest solar cars ever developed. SERVe, the first of its kind in India, is produced at less than 1/10th of the cost of similar vehicles. It is produced due to the hard work of 27 budding engineers is a way of offering the society a greener, cleaner and better future. When comparing the SERVe to Mahindra Reva, better driving range, lower running and maintenance costs and higher levels of comforts were reported.