Dutch students build a spectacular, solar-powered, zero-emission mobile home
[Nov 17, 2021: Kishalaya Kundu]
Students have developed a solar-powered zero-emission mobile home that can travel just on solar energy. (CREDIT: Solar Team Eindhoven)
Students at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands have developed a solar-powered zero-emission mobile home that can travel just on solar energy. With most countries cutting back on fossil fuels and investing in sustainable energy, electric vehicles like Teslas are becoming a popular choice among the environmentally conscious. However, much of the electricity still comes from coal, which means solar panels and wind turbines are increasingly being preferred as sustainable sources of power.
Automobiles are one of the significant sources of pollution across the industrialized world. An EPA report stated that 29 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States in 2019 came from the transportation sector. Experts worldwide agree that air pollution cannot be controlled without drastically reducing automotive emissions, which means vehicles that can run on sustainable power are the need of the hour. That is precisely where the new zero-emissions mobile home comes in.
Named 'Stella Vita,' the vehicle has a solar panel roof, with additional panels that can be unfurled when parked. It can also be charged through electric charging ports in cases of emergency.
The vehicle has a solar panel roof, with additional panels that can be unfurled when parked. (CREDIT: Solar Team Eindhoven)
The vehicle was built by a young group of students called the 'Solar Team Eindhoven,' consisting of 22 students from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands.
The students specialize in designing solar-powered electric vehicles with the ultimate goal of optimizing range.
The mobile home has a kitchen with a fridge, a seating area, bed, shower and toilet, all powered by solar panels. According to the team, the self-contained solar panels generate enough power to drive, shower, watch TV, charge laptops and make coffee.
The mobile home has a kitchen with a fridge, a seating area, bed, shower and toilet, all powered by solar panels. (CREDIT: Solar Team Eindhoven)
Stella Vita Has A Top Speed Of 75 MPH
Stella Vita is road legal, and the students even completed a 1,800-mile road trip in it, powered solely by the sun. It also has a 60-kilowatt hour lithium-ion battery that can store energy for night-time trips of up to 600 kilometers (nearly 400 miles). The vehicle can travel up to 453 miles within 24 hours on a sunny day and hit a top speed of 120 kilometers per hour (around 75 miles per hour).
While electric-powered campers are not a novelty, a fully self-sustaining solar-powered mobile home is always welcome. The team says it took them about one year to design and build Stella Vita from the ground up, and they hope to bring it to the market in the next five years.
Solar Team Eindhoven standing in front of the Stella Vita. (CREDIT: Solar Team Eindhoven)
The university had earlier created multiple solar-powered vehicles as part of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge competition and even won on more than one occasion with standard five-seater designs. However, for this year's competition, the team's coordinator Dr. Carlo van der Weijer wanted the students to design a mobile home because he felt it might be more marketable commercially, especially to eco-conscious camping enthusiasts.
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