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College students building car that will run on sunshine

Sunday, 16 December 2012 - 12:29pm IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: dna

MVJ engineering college’s students say making it will cost them about Rs5 lakh.

Bangalore may be considered one of the most polluted cities in the country, but for students of MVJ Engineering College, it is also an opportunity to build something that can be a solution in the future. A team of 16 students from the college is currently building a solar car that will potentially reduce a person’s carbon footprint significantly without making them give up their luxuries.

“The solar car project is something that was born out of a brainstorming session we had about six months ago. We were told to work on a particular project in our fourth semester and we were talking about reducing energy consumption and this idea cropped up,” says Santosh Kumar K, a fifth semester student of mechanical engineering stream, MVJ. The team consists of students pursuing mechanical engineering, industrial engineering and management streams in the college.

So far, the team has been able to design what will be a two-seater car. “We had hoped to have completed the design by December of this year, but it will most probably be ready by next month. Then we will start building it by February and we plan on completing it in six months,” adds Kumar. To get maximum efficiency from the car, the team will be investing in solar panels and applying a transparent coat to protect it from damage.

“Solar panels are quite sensitive so we will be coating them to make them weather-resistant. The panels alone will cost us `1-1.5 lakh, but essentially we want to make sure that the car will require no other maintenance apart from occasionally changing of the tyres,” he adds.

As far as the charging of the car is concerned, Kumar says that the team will ensure that a bright sunny day is all one needs.

“Only charging is enough. According to our calculations, about one hour of charging will yield about eight hours of running battery for the car. Imagine a two-seater golf cart and that’s how the car will look like. Once completed, we want to enter the car in solar challenges and will also be applying for patents,” he says about the car, which is likely to cost about `5 lakh in total to build.

“We are quite serious about building this car and making sure it runs right. We want it to reach at least 60kmph and are currently searching for sponsors to go ahead with our plans,” he adds.

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