College of Engineering at University of Bahrain has launched since 2008 two ambitious vehicle projects: Solar – Powered vehicle, and one of it’s kind in the Arabian region, Fuel Cell-Powered vehicle. These projects were aimed mainly at to managing the energy gained from the renewable sources and convert it to motion. A simple description will be given about both solar and fuel cell vehicles, and an introduction to Go Green 2013 project, will also be presented.
The limited reserves of fossil fuels and escalation in energy coasts associated with fossil and nuclear fuels have increased the interest in utilization of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy. Therefore, the solar energy systems have gained increasing interest in the research community as an alternative source of electrical energy. Solar energy is one of the most important elements of renewable energy sources, and it has many advantages such as being environmentally friendly and that the raw materials used in producing the solar PV cells, namely Silicon from sand are the second plentiful material available on the earth. The College of Engineering’s students were fully aware of the importance of the need for gaining ability for efficient use of solar electricity through modern technological development in this regard, so they produced the Solar Powered vehicle.
On the other hand, according to many governments, corporations, and news reports, we may soon be using a new energy-saving and environment-friendly technology to generate electrical power for our homes, institutions, and automobiles. This technology is known as Fuel Cell. Fuel cell is an electrochemical device that converts fuel plus oxygen directly into electricity without combustion. When hydrogen (H2) is used as fuel, water is produced as an output. College of Engineering students were fully aware of the importance of this technology so they finished phase one of this car.
Recently, College of Engineering launched the Go Green 2013 project that targets international competitions representing Bahrain such as, World Solar Challenge, Shell Eco-Marathon (Euro Germany & Asia). The project mainly is to design and manufacture an improved version of the existing vehicles by using advanced materials that have higher strength to weight ratio materials, and also using advanced technologies to build new racing solar and hydrogen fuel vehicles.
Ahmed Mahmood Al Balooshi,
Go Green 2013 Bahrain Team Leader.