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M10 - Development and Manufacture of a Solar Cart


Project No.: M11

Project Title: Development and Manufacture of a Solar Cart


1. INTRODUCTION

The use of solar energy is nothing new. In the early 1900, mankind had already started using solar power for lighting, heating, and cooking purposes. Nowadays, we can see many of such applications throughout the world in many developed and developing countries.

The reason for using solar energy as a kind of Renewable Energy is simple. It provides not only a clean and pollution free environment, but also a safe supply of energy at no extra cost.

The development of Photovoltaic systems has enabled mankind to convert light energy into electricity, which consequently is used to supply power to watches, calculators, and computers successfully.

Although the deployment of solar energy as the power source for equipment demanding more quantity of electricity is still at a conceptual stage, yet it is the aim of this project to develop a racing cart that is powered by solar energy. Figure 1 below shows an example of its type in motion.


Figure 1 Solar carts in motion

2. TECHNICAL OUTLINE

Figure 2 below shows the working principle of a solar cart system. Basically, light energy is converted into electrical energy by the Solar Array. The Power Tracker is used to charge up the Batteries, which consequently provide power to the Motor of the cart.


Figure 2 Working principle of a solar cart

3. SPECIFICATIONS

As the ultimate goal of the solar cart is for racing purpose, there should have no limitation to the size and shape of the cart at the preliminary stage. However, the final design should take into account the following points: -

  • Type, shape and size of the solar panels being used,
  • Should be equipped with user friendly adjustments for the solar panels to achieve best intensity of light,
  • The cart should be light in weight and strong enough to carry one person,
  • The cart should be able to cover a distance of not less than 40 km when fully charged with a maximum speed of not less than 40 km/hr.


4. REQUIREMENTS

The initial planning for this project is divided into two stages namely: the Development Stage and the Manufacture Stage.

For the development stage, students are required to:

  • Design and produce a prototype of the solar cart based on the given outline and specifications;
  • Select and schedule the manufacturing processes required for the prototype;
  • Prepare a bill of materials and a budget estimation for the project;
  • Conduct testing and commissioning of the prototype.

For the manufacture stage, students are required to:

  • Evaluate and modify the solar cart based on the prototype produced;
  • Schedule the manufacturing processes required for the cart;
  • Prepare a bill of materials and a budget estimation for the cart;
  • Conduct testing and commissioning of the cart

Upon the completion at each stage of the project, a group presentation and a group report are also required.

Reference websites:

http://www.winstonsolar.org/info/intro.html
http://solar42.umr.edu/
http://www.ises.org/ises.nsf!Open
http://www.solar-i.com/know.html
www.cn-solar.com

http://www.energyland.emsd.gov.hk/chi/energy/renew.htm
http://www.chinasolar.biz/support/showsup.asp?id=38
http://www.newenergy.org.cn/energy/solar/overview/lishi.htm
http://www.foe.org.hk/welcome/geten.asp?language=en&id_path=1,%208,%20156