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Solar-Assisted Electric Auto Rickshaw Three-Wheeler

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5 Author(s)
Mulhall, P. ; Electr. & Comput. Eng. Dept., Illinois Inst. of Technol., Chicago, IL, USA ; Lukic, S.M. ; Wirasingha, S.G. ; Young-Joo Lee
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Auto rickshaws are three-wheeled vehicles that are extensively used in many Asian countries as taxis of people and goods. Although the vehicle design is well suited to the environment in which it operates, it is a crude and inefficient design. Due to poor vehicle maintenance and the use of inefficient two- or four-stroke engines with very little pollution control, auto rickshaws present a grave pollution problem in major Indian cities. This paper details the overall development of an advanced solar-assisted electric auto rickshaw. Research on the conventional auto rickshaw is presented, as well as future conceptual infrastructure designs for electric rickshaws and the recent design research, simulations, and experimental validation of the next auto rickshaw. The proposed solar/battery electric three-wheeler is meant to match and exceed the conventional vehicle's performance but with a more intelligent and efficient design. We introduce the next overall design of the rickshaw in this paper as Auto Rickshaw 2.0, where the conventional vehicle is version 1.0. The technical development aim for Auto Rickshaw 2.0 is to decrease the total electric power needed for propulsion with an optimized battery system and a more efficient motor and inverter. Four system drive-train options are covered, a rickshaw prototype is built, and several configurations are simulated and analyzed in the Advanced Vehicle Simulator (ADVISOR) software. Additionally, conceptual infrastructure designs are modeled and optimized in the Hybrid Optimization Model for Electric Renewables (HOMER) software.

Published in:

Vehicular Technology, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:59 ,  Issue: 5 )

Date of Publication:

Jun 2010

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