1. Success Story

School Boy Converts Junk E-bike into Solar Cycle That can go up to 15 Kms

Ayushi Raina
Ayushi Raina
School Boy Converts Junk E-bike into Solar Cycle

It is not unusual to see today's youth obsessed with pursuing a specific career path. But Neel Shah, a Class 12 student at Zenith High School in Vadodara, Gujarat, is doing far more than just working towards a job-worthy aptitude.

He made solar battery-powered e-bike from a common electrical one from the local junkyard. "My interest in scientific laws began when I was a child. I was always curious about how solar energy works and how various mechanisms operate for the benefit of people," Neel says.

In Class 7, he created a helicopter out of a plastic bottle and scrap cardboard for a school competition called "Best out of Waste." After being bitten by the innovation bug in Class 10, he selected the science stream to concretise his passion in the field.

He shares that his physics teacher, Santosh Kaushik, sparked his interest in the area by assigning him a topic to study and supervising the results of his research.

They had just been discussing on the solar energy matter, which inspired Neel to acquire some practical experience. He could see the hardship of the ordinary person and desired to do something about it amid rising fuel prices and disputed electricity bills.

This resulted in the creation of a prototype for an electric bicycle, which has no running or charging costs and minimizes the traveler’s carbon footprint.

The Bicycle Project

When Neel told his father, a retired government employee, that he wanted to dabble in solar-powered inventions, he was very supportive

"He went out and purchased me a second-hand e-bike from a nearby scrap dealership, since it was my first attempt and things could go wrong. It just cost us Rs.300," he says.

Neel then purchased two 10 watt solar panels, two 2 volt batteries, and a dynamo alternator. The total investment came to Rs.12000, which he claims was covered by not having to pay fuel expenses.

"A dynamo is a motor-powered device connected to a tyre. When the wheel revolves, it generates electricity via natural current. This implies that, while the solar panels charge the bike during the day, the dynamo charges it at night for free," he explains.

The prototype operates on a relay charging method, which means that the panels actively charge it while it is running in the sun. According to the young innovator, it takes around 8 hours to fully charge and can go up to 15 kilometres.

"As the capacity of the panels or batteries rises, so does the distance," he says.

The prototype operates on a relay charging method, which means that the panels actively charge it while it is running in the sun. According to the young innovator, it takes around 8 hours to fully charge and can go up to 15 kilometres.

While it only took him 30 days to get this model up and running, Neel confesses that it took him half the time to conduct adequate research. This restoration employed mechanical and electrical engineering principles, both of which were outside the purview of his educational curriculum.

"This isn't even a field in which I'd like to work. I want to be a physicist and want to pursue PhD in the same field. However, this project taught me skills that will assist me in life and improve the lives of those around me," he says.

The 18-year-old is enjoying the moment as he recounts his wonderful learning experience with this endeavour.

He states that he has no intentions to market the product at this time, but shares that he rides the bike to school and other places in the vicinity on a regular basis.

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