Farnek intern develops solar-powered buggy for COP28 visitors to Expo City Dubai
Mohamed Zayan, an intern at smart and green total facilities management company Farnek, has unveiled an innovative project that involved retrofitting a buggy, with photovoltaic panels that harness solar energy, to charge the buggy’s battery.
This solar-powered buggy will be operated in Expo City Dubai, showcasing Farnek’s commitment and alignment with Expo City Dubai’s sustainability goals, as well as COP28 ‘energy transition’ objectives.
According to Zayan, who is currently studying for his Master’s in Energy & Sustainable development from a UK-based De Montfort University in Dubai, “Quite apart from the energy savings, the project will encourage other students to embrace projects related to renewable energy.”
Farnek has estimated that the solar panels will produce around 735 kWh/year which helps to offset approximately 18% of the energy required to charge the buggy’s batteries at charging stations and should reduce around 330kg CO2e carbon emissions per annum.
Stress analysis of the structure was carried out using SAP2000 software to check the integrity of the buggy’s roof and supporting struts, considering design parameters such as speed as well as static and dynamic loads. PV Panels are not directly fixed to the buggy structure but rather are integrated into a dedicated, custom-made, light-weight frame to improve strength without adding any noteworthy load to the buggy.
Safety has been considered in the design, through a solar charge controller, integrated into the solar circuitry, which prevents any over or undercharging of the battery.
The electrical and structural design of this project is flexible enough to add more PV modules in the future to increase solar production and hence offset even more fossil-based energy.