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Title of the Project: Low-Cost Solar Powered Wheel-Chair for Elderly and Disabled People

Brief Description


People with physical disabilities face significant challenges in their daily lives, often relying on others to perform even the simplest tasks. This dependence not only limits their physical mobility but also takes a toll on their mental well-being, fostering a sense of anxiety and helplessness. Wheelchairs are essential mobility aids for many individuals, and while manual wheelchairs serve a vital purpose, motor-driven wheelchairs offer enhanced ease of use and flexibility. However, in rural or areas with unreliable access to electrical energy, motor-driven wheelchairs become impractical due to their dependency on electricity.

To address these challenges, a novel solution is proposed: the development of a solar-powered wheelchair. This innovative project aims to construct and manufacture an electric wheelchair equipped with a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 40Ah at 24V. This battery will be charged through a 75Wp mono-perc solar panel, making the wheelchair self-sufficient in terms of energy. Notably, this solar-powered wheelchair can serve not only individuals with physical impairments but also those suffering from conditions like fatigue-related illnesses, enhancing their mobility and independence.

The electric motor replaces manual propulsion, ensuring that users can navigate with ease. Solar energy provides a sustainable and reliable source of power, reducing dependence on the grid and making this technology particularly relevant for areas with limited access to electricity. The solar panel is securely affixed to the back of the wheelchair, making it an integral part of the vehicle's design.

The objectives of this project encompass the development of a cost-effective electric wheelchair, the integration of solar photovoltaics to provide additional charging capabilities, the creation of Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) and smart motor controllers for the wheelchair, and the reduction of grid dependency through solar energy utilization in electric vehicles.

The estimated benefits are far-reaching. Following the successful development of a prototype solar-based wheelchair, it will be provided to elderly and disabled individuals in nearby areas. Subsequent improvements and potential redesigns will be based on feedback and the needs of beneficiaries. This innovative wheelchair is not only cost-effective but also technologically advanced, reducing the reliance on human effort and traditional electricity sources. The project's intent is to distribute these solar-based wheelchairs in rural and remote areas where accessibility is limited, providing a significant reduction in the burden on individuals with mobility challenges. Its compact design and reliance on solar power are expected to rapidly gain popularity in these underserved regions.

ICFAI University Tripura, as the host agency, is committed to fabricating the product and supplying it on a non-profit basis. The project's stakeholders primarily consist of disabled and elderly individuals in rural areas who stand to benefit from this technology, with the university serving as a nodal agency to facilitate training and the establishment of enterprises. In summary, this solar-powered wheelchair represents a transformative solution, offering enhanced mobility, independence, and an improved quality of life for those who need it most.

Name of the Principal Investigator: Dr. Shantanu Acharya

Name of the Co-Principal Investigator:  Dr. Payel Deb

Project Achievements & Outcomes:

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