WARANGAL: Mupparapu Raju (30), runs a small tool workshop in Gopalapuram village of Duggondi mandal in Warangal Rural district. He has to travel 20 km on a two-wheeler to reach his workshop every day. With fuel prices touching the sky, Raju decided to come up with an elegant and cost effective solution - a solar and battery powered cycle.
"I cannot afford to pay for fuel everyday. Therefore, I decided to build a chargeable solar and battery powered cycle to avoid any fuel charges and make commute easier," said Raju, who is a B.Sc (BZC) graduate.
He based his invention on a regular cycle, sketched out the components, and began working on transforming it to run on batteries. The batteries are connected to a solar panel. The cycle can run at a speed of 25 km/hr - a little slower than a motorbike.
Fully charged, the vehicle is able to cover a distance of 20 km. "I invested Rs 9,000 on the cycle and it is quite economical. I designed it using solar panels and two 12-volt batteries which could power a 24-volt DC motor. The solar panels can be used to charge the battery. If the batteries run out of charge, then we can use the pedal to reach our destination," said Raju.
He says that he did not take inputs from anyone to built his invention, and that his father - who is an electrician - encouraged him in his endeavour. "As the cycle has gotten popular, farmers and youngsters from my village are approaching me for installing the solar and battery components into their own cycles. I charge Rs 10,000 for each cycle, so I get a profit of Rs 1,000 per cycle," he added.
Raju is no stranger to accolades. He developed a Light Dependent Resistor (LDR) sensor, which automatically detects the presence or absence of light to shut off the main system controlling street lights. The sensor system was implemented in over a 100 gram panchayats of Warangal Urban and Rural districts. He also hit the headlines in 2018 with his solar-powered mobile phone charging booth concept.