Unpad students premiere solar electric bicycle

6
Mutiara Nawansari, Lutfia Rahmannisa, and Alamsyah Yahya Nugraha with their supervisor, Ferry Faizal, Ph.D., working to develop the idea of a solar-powered electric bicycle and charging station. (Photo: UNPAD)

IO, Bandung – Three students from Padjadjaran University (Unpad), Bandung, developed the idea of a solar-powered electric bicycle; their invention won first place in the National Scientific Writing Competition for the Student Category at the VOSICO event held by the State University of Malang, last August. 

Using energy from the sun, the bicycle, which is named “Easy Bike”, is believed to be more environmentally-friendly than other electric bikes currently on the market. Mutiara Nawansari (Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences), Lutfia Rahmannisa (Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences), and Alamsyah Yahya Nugraha (Faculty of Economics and Business) were supervised directly by Ferry Faizal, a lecturer at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (MIPA) Unpad. 

Since they utilize solar energy, they have installed several charging stations on the campus. “We are trying to build our charging station, whose power is taken from the sun. So we don’t use fossil energy,” said Mutiara when contacted by the Unpad Public Communication Office, some time ago. 

This research began from an idea of the Student Energy Chapter Unpad in 2019, Mutiara and the team actively participated in the organization. Thus, it is hoped that the use of motorized vehicles on campus can be reduced and switched to using more environmentally-friendly vehicles. 

However, the contours of the Unpad campus, which has many uphill roads, are a challenge for students who wish to cycle. Environmentally-friendly electric bicycles then become a solution. “We thought, how to ride a bicycle but not tired when climbing. There we add an engine. When tired of riding, turn on the engine. So this is a solution for the Unpad campus whose contours fluctuate,” said Mutiara. 

In their research, Mutiara and her team also calculated the carbon dioxide emissions that are estimated to be reduced if students on the Unpad campus use the electric bicycle. It is estimated that more than a thousand tons of carbon dioxide will be reduced if this electric bicycle is employed. 

The team has made a prototype electric bicycle and charging station, with support from the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences Unpad and the Center for Nanotechnology and Graphene Research (Print-G). Easy Bike will continue to be refined and it is hoped that it can be implemented on the Unpad campus. Apart from being environmentally-friendly, Mutiara said that Easy Bike also has access to Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), GPS facilities, and a calorie counter. (est)