How does the idea of traveling using renewable energy sound to you? To be more precise, I am talking about traveling in a car using the electricity produced by solar panels and portable/foldable wind-mills. I might even want to travel and live in that car for extended periods of time (say 3-4 weeks at a stretch). Sounds impossible? Sounds insane?
Welcome to my dream
Goal: To travel (and live in) a vehicle totally powered by renewable energy technologies like solar panels, wind-mills, etc.
Constraints: It’s just a dream now. Obviously there are more constraints than what you or me can imagine.
Initial investment: Let us assume that the initial investment for the project is not a constraint. Only then, we’ll get to the best possible technical solution. After arriving at that, we can see what can be compromised.
Recurring expenditure: Minimum. The aim is to travel and live without spending much.
People following my blog know my passion for traveling around my city and perhaps even outside my city. Till now, I travel around where ever I am put up and hence most of my travels are an one-day affair. In the future, I want to be able to travel around India but at a very minimum cost. This dream project of mine will enable me to do the same.
Let me get down to the (main) individual components of my dream project.
1. Light/Small Commercial Vehicle – Like the Tata RX Pickup. Of course, a lot of modifications need to be done as shown in the diagram.
2. Battery Powered – This is very crucial. All our vehicles run using petrol or diesel engines. But I want a hybrid vehicle or a fully-electric vehicle with a large battery capacity. Only then I will be able to charge it using solar panels and micro wind-mills.
3. Solar Panels – I prefer amorphous thin-film solar panels as they could be just laid (stuck) over the roof of the vehicle. They are flexible and better than crystalline panels for a hot country like India. This will generate electricity during the day.
4. Micro Wind-Mills – I want foldable/portable micro wind-mills that can generate electricity using the breeze in the region, when erected in open places. It should be foldable and easy to carry. This will generate electricity during the nights. This is not exactly new or impossible and it was already used in the wind-explorer project.
Rest of the design should be evident from the above diagram. But it is just a crude sketch of what I want and items can be added and subtracted. I still don’t understand how I am going to take bath or if mobile toilets are available (and can be taken in a car).
The biggest issue however, is how much electricity can be generated in an average day and if that will be sufficient to power the vehicle and everything inside it. First of all, we have a very few electric vehicles in India but let us hope for more options soon.
I have used an induction stove that can run using electricity and it can boil water (at the minimum). So, cooking basic dishes on the go may not be a big issue. I am also planning to grow small vegetable plants, if possible and consume them while traveling. You are wondering what is a clay fridge? Have a look at this site.
Any suggestions for improvement and problems that I overlooked, are highly welcome in the comments. This may or may not be possible but if I can make it, I will be a happy man