Paper presented to the 3rd Southern African Solar Energy Conference, South Africa, 11-13 May, 2015.
A cart is a vehicle designed for transport, using two wheels and normally pulled by one or a pair of draught animals. A solar vehicle is an electric vehicle which supplies all or most of its required power by converting solar radiation into electricity with the help of solar cells. The aim of this work is to design and develop a solar assisted electric cart that can be used for carrying loads and transporting people by villagers and farmers and also to reduce animal drudgery. As an initial investigation, the physical data of conventional cart used by farmers are collected based on which the motor and various parts of vehicle namely; Chain drive, Shaft, Suspension, Brakes etc. are selected for final development of cart. The FEM analysis is carried out to study the stress and displacements of the cart in order to ensure the safety. The basic performance of cart is evaluated in terms of its range, acceleration and maximum achievable speed. The final weight of cart so designed is 620 kg and load carrying capacityis found to be 800 kg. The achievable acceleration of cart is calculated as 1.2 m/s2with maximum achievable speed of 15km/h with a power rating of about 1.5kW out of which about 11.4% power is derived from solar radiation. The range of the cart is calculated as 44.75 km which seems to be reasonable for rural areas.