WEDNESDAY 27 FEBRUARY, 2013 |
Wheelchairs Powered By The Sun
Back in 2010, we reported on an attempt to cross the United Arab Emirates in a solar-powered
. In that situation, the wheelchair was directly powered by the
sun via solar panels installed on the chair.*
Kyocera Corporation has announced its solar panels were used in a project for
powering the wheelchairs of those living at Quimby Huus, a facility for the
disabled in St. Gallen, Switzerland. The project was awarded the 2012 Swiss Solar
Instead of the solar panels being attached to the chairs, a 3kW solar power system
was installed on the roof of the facility, generating 3,000kWh of clean electricity each year
which is used to charge the residents' chairs.
Enough electricity is generated by the system to allow each resident to travel
approximately 1,500km per year.
An energy meter has also been installed at the facility so residents know how
much energy has been consumed, which Kyocera
increases their awareness of energy consumption and offers additional
potential for conservation.
The project was led by Sandro Buff, who has been using a wheelchair for 16 years.
The Swiss Solar Agency was founded in 1990 and launched the Swiss Solar Prize in
1991, which has been awarded annually since. Other recipients of the 2012 Swiss
Solar Prize can
be viewed here
Solar power already offers an affordable way to charge small electric vehicles
other than wheelchairs. Increasingly, solar panels are being used to recharge
gophers and golf
* We didn't publish a follow up to the original story, but we're pleased to
say the journey across by United Arab Emirates was successfully completed
by Mr. Haidar Taleb in December 2010.
Other news for Wednesday 27 February, 2013
Return to main renewable energy news section
Other Energy Matters News Services