Sun powered mobility

May 03, 2007

Solar powered mobility scooters could soon be on the streets thanks to the work of a student at The University of Nottingham. Matt Alvey, who is studying Architecture and Environmental Design, says the photovoltaic (solar electric) recharging system will turn the mobility vehicles truly green.

The project began when a company that manufactures secure storage sheds for the scooters approached the university about integrating solar power to recharge the vehicle. If Matt can find a solution it will overcome problems often associated with connecting mains power to the shed. This can prove costly as it requires a qualified electrician to do the work. It would also prevent the possibility of the charger overloading the owner's mains electricity supply to their home. Matt says "the other big advantage is that it will generate electricity by a renewable means and therefore has no harmful emissions".

Caroline Moore, Director of Securit GB, the Chesterfield based company that sells the storage sheds, says "We wanted a solar panel system that would reduce the electric costs for disabled users and cut costs on getting a power supply connected to the shed."

Dr Mark Gillott, Co-Director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy Technology at the School of the Built Environment says "Increasingly more and more people are becoming aware of their own impact on the environment. Renewable energy technologies are becoming extremely popular with the general public and this project is one example of how demand for a green solution was sought by the consumer."

Shortly after the project began Loughborough based 50cycles brought along one of their electric bikes for testing. Scott Snaith from 50cycles says "there is a growing market for electric bikes and they want to find a way of making them 100% sustainable". Matt is hoping he can use the same technology to charge the bikes.

Source: University of Nottingham

Explore further: Fukushima accepts 'temporary' radioactive waste storage

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Rosetta wide awake as check-up continues

Jan 30, 2014

Following last week's wake-up of the Rosetta comet-chaser, ESA's flight controllers have conducted the first in a series of health checks aimed at assessing how well it came through 31 months of hibernation.

Cyberlinguistics: Recording the world's vanishing voices

Mar 12, 2013

Of the 7,000 languages spoken on the planet, Tembé is at the small end with just 150 speakers left. In a few days, I will head into the Brazilian Amazon to record Tembé – via specially-designed technology ...

Recommended for you

Future solar panels

57 minutes ago

Conventional photovoltaic technology uses large, heavy, opaque, dark silicon panels, but this could soon change. The IK4-Ikerlan research centre is working with the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country ...

Storing solar energy

Sep 01, 2014

A research project conducted by Leclanché S.A., the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Romande Energie and with the financial support of the Canton of Vaud could bring a real added value in ...

Scientists get set for simulated nuclear inspection

Sep 01, 2014

Some 40 scientists and technicians from around the world will descend on Jordan in November to take part in a simulated on-site inspection of a suspected nuclear test site on the banks of the Dead Sea.

User comments : 0