Debut of the Latvian-made solar tricycle in Ķīpsala!

The fair “Environment and Energy 2016”, which will take place in Ķīpsala from 13 to 16 October, will provide its visitors with an opportunity to view a unique Latvian-made solar tricycle – a means of transportation powered by solar energy and the strength of one’s leg muscles.

“The idea of a solar bicycle came to my mind instantly when I saw an electric bicycle on the beach. A battery-powered bike can go for 35 km on average, and, knowing that, I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that the battery could be charged during the ride by using the electricity from a solar cell,” the idea was commented on by Dr Jānis Kleperis, Scientist at the Institute of Solid State Physics of the University of Latvia, under whose lead the prototype of the solar tricycle was developed.

After assessing the potential and inexhaustibility of solar energy, three young men from the Institute of Solid State Physics of the University of Latvia – Artis Volkovs, Artūrs Gruduls, Mārtiņš Vanags – and their experienced colleagues – constructor Jānis Straumēns and engineer Vladimirs Ņemcevs – mounted the hub motor of an electric bicycle on the rear wheel of their own tricycle and produced electricity with their legs by turning the pedals of an exercise bike generator. The tricycle receives additional electricity from two 100 W monocrystalline silicon solar cells that are placed on the roof of the tricycle.

“The solar tricycle does not develop high speeds and it does not accelerate as quickly as an internal combustion engine; however, the self-confidence of the rider should be high, as the movement is completely autonomous and only environmentally-friendly energy is used,” the inventors comment.

When asked: “who and where could use the tricycle on a daily basis?”, Dr Jānis Klepers instantly replies: “In order for it to be possible to be used practically, a tricycle with motors on all three wheels has to be made, there have to be 200 W solar cells, and four (2+2) seats – then it will serve as a great means of transportation for tourists, for example, when going about large parks or moving around such resort towns as Jūrmala and Palanga.”

Speed: may reach 21 km/h
Weight: 85 kg
Price: prime cost of 850 euros
Charging time: not defined, as it is possible to move around by turning the pedals, as well as by using energy from the solar cells

During the fair “Environment and Energy 2016” those interested will not only be able to look at the Latvian invention, but also have a ride on it around the exhibition hall by using the accumulated solar energy.

A bit of history!
Electric bicycles have been documented a long time ago – their sketches may be found in many American patents of the 1890s. For example, the patent with the number 552 271, which was issued to Ogden Bolton Jr on 31 December, 1895, describes a bicycle that has a 6-pole brush-and-commutator direct current hub motor mounted to its front wheel.

Solar panels turn light into electricity, and they became available after 25 April, 1954, when the “Bell” laboratory announced the first silicon solar cells. Only a year later, “General Motors” showcased the first electrical solar car. Whereas the first inventor of the solar electric bicycle is considered to be Masaharu Fujita, Professor at the Tokyo Denki University (approximately from 1977 to 1980).

Do you care about the effective use of natural and energy resources? Visit “Environment and Energy 2016”!
The 12th International Power Industry, Energy Efficiency, Infrastructure and Environmental Technology Fair “Environment and Energy 2016” will be held in Ķīpsala from 13 to 16 October, and, during which, visitors will be able to acquire information on solutions for improving energy efficiency, energy supply, environmental technologies and infrastructure, as well as on the efficient use of renewable energy resources.

The fair provides special attention to environmentally friendly transport – there will be a separate exhibition with several electric cars of various makers, as well as electric bicycles and charging stations. The fair is arranged by the Zero Emission Mobility Support Society in cooperation with the Road Traffic Safety Directorate.

The fair is organised by the International Exhibition Company BT 1.

Follow the news of the “Environment and Energy” fair on the homepage: www.bt1.lv/ee
And social networks: www.facebook.com/videenergija.

Ķīpsala will simultaneously host the International Building Refurbishment and Interior Design Fair “House. Apartment 2016”, as well as the Real Estate, Business and Investment Fair “Realty & Investment 2016”. All of the exhibitions may be visited with a single ticket!

Opening hours of the fair:
13–15 October 10:00–18:00
16 October 10:00–17:00

Ticket price:
Entrance ticket – EUR 5
Seniors, disabled persons, students – 4 EUR
Children up to the age of 7 – free of charge!
Family ticket (2 adults and 2 children or 1 + 3) – EUR 12

E-tickets are already available online: https://ee2016.ticketforevent.com/lv/