Sun is the most powerful source of energy. Just the rays of the sun on the earth are sufficient to meet all our power needs. The energy that we get from the sun is enough to meet our demands from time to time. The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University has thought of an effective way to use this solar energy and are about to launch cost effective battery powered bicycles and scooters in a pilot project.
NMMU’s Freewheeling pilot project was instigated by the director of projects and planning, Greg Ducie along with Professor Ernest van Dyk of the centre for energy research. This project will be projected at the outset by ten members of the team who will make use of these solar battery powered bicycles and scooters to take a ride through the campus of the university. This will be a live demonstration for the students at the commencement of the project.
Their vehicles will be parked in a new covered parking facility hosting solar panels. The solar energy generated from these panels will nourish the universities electricity gridiron, which will in turn expand the use of renewable energy at the university. These innovative solar powered vehicles will not only be economical but will also save our environment from the hazards of pollution as compared to the fuel hungry vehicles. This project will in its own way make a remarkable difference to the health of the environment. This university is already using solar energy to power many residences and lecture halls in collaboration with the centre for energy research and still has many more innovative projects in hand.
If this project proves to be a success the university will make further plans to introduce solar powered golf carts for their staff instead of fuel vehicles. Such projects apart from providing sustainable solutions also instill in the students a level of responsibility towards the environment.