Solar electric tricycle development and research
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Due to the fact that the world's energy resources are declining, various alternative energy sources are being sought. One such source of energy is solar energy. However, due to the large size of solar photovoltaic panels, solar energy is not widely used in mobile vehicles. In some electric automobiles, solar energy is used as an additional energy source, yet usually the sun is not able to provide more than 15–20% of the energy needed for their propulsion. There are some experimental design solutions for water vessels that are propelled by solar energy only. A recumbent electric tricycle was designed, constructed and tested within the present research. The recumbent electric tricycle used a 330 W solar battery, which was designed as a tricycle roof. During the tests with the solar battery, the electric tricycle reached a maximum speed of 32 km h -1 . On a sunny day in May under the conditions in Latvia, a distance of 50.20 km was experimentally covered without battery recharging, compared with a distance of 17.14 km covered without the use of a solar battery. By skilfully operating the solar electric tricycle and limiting the speed to 20 km h -1 on a sunny day, the expected distance covered could be unlimited. The acceleration and braking parameters of the solar electric tricycle were identified by using a scientific radar Stalker ATS.