After their stellar achievement with Mangalyaan – their mission to Mars, the Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO), has stepped down from the skies onto paved roads. The space organisation recently demonstrated a solar-powered hybrid electric car. A Maruti Suzuki Omni was used as the project vehicle, which is powered by lithium ion batteries. The solar panel sits on the roof of the vehicle and charges the battery on the go.
Unlike fossil fuels which place environment and all other forms of life in jeopardy, the solar hybrid technology vehicle offers clean and safe transportation system. The solar panel on the rooftop absorbs sunlight to charge the battery. In order to convert the electrical energy to mechanical energy, an efficient power conversion module has been integrated between the energy system and electric motor. The Brushless type motor in the vehicle offered is not just light in weight but also offers more torque with less energy input.
The vehicle is powered by high energy density lithium ion batteries which are connected across high power density super-capacitors. The battery delivers the sustained energy requirement while the super-capacitor supports peak power demand during high torque conditions. This arrangement of power sharing helps in enhancing the life of power-restricted batteries. ISRO claims that associated safety aspect has not been compromised while combining various active subsystems of different behaviour for a focused objective.
Given the growing environmental concerns, the new technology is definitely a welcome move. Since most leading automakers in the country have already been working hard on introducing hybrid versions, a lead from ISRO might really help with future developments.