Solar-powered farm rickshaw for agricultural transport

Elsevier, Energy Nexus, Volume 9, March 2023, 100181
Pranay Rajendra Lanjekar, Mahendra Singh Dulawat Jagubhai Makavana, P.M. Chauhan

The automobile sector is rising rapidly at a global level. In the current scenario, emphasis is given on electric vehicles (EVs) to reduce conventional energy demand and minimize greenhouse gasses. Most work has been done on solar-powered vehicles used for the transportation of people rather than agricultural transport such as labor, tools, and farm production. Therefore solar-powered farm rickshaw were tailored to Indian farm conditions. A three-wheel rear-driven 450-watt capacity solar-powered farm rickshaw was designed, developed, and evaluated in Indian climatic conditions. The developed rickshaw were comprised of three 150-watt polycrystalline solar modules. The produced electricity is stored in a 48-volt 30 Ah lithium-ion battery. A maximum power point tracking (MPPT) system was also incorporated to access the maximum power from solar panels. Statistical analysis was made with ANOVA tool and FCRD-test. The results were tested at the 5% significant level. The developed rickshaw has a cargo capacity of 300 kg and can be used to transport labor and farm produce. It reduces annual fossil fuel demand by approximately 350 liters and annual CO2 emissions by approximately 837 kg. The developed solar-powered farm rickshaw not only reduces fossil fuel demand but also reduces the emission of greenhouse gasses at large. The main goal behind the design and development of a solar-powered farm rickshaw is to do farm work at low-cost and pollution-free.