Automotives have always been a benchmark of a society’s progress. Recently, the students of MCKV Institute of Engineering, Howrah, achieved a new milestone in the realm of green technology by designing an Effi-Cycle. The purpose of such a project was to provide an opportunity for engineering students to start a trend of using eco-friendly vehicles in India and pioneer the creation of innovative designs.
My batchmates Md Jahangir Arvind Kumar Yadav and I, under the guidance of Chaitanya Nandy, assistant professor of mechanical department of the institute, wanted to design a highly efficient human powered vehicle that’s aerodynamic and ergonomically stable. The name Effi-Cycle suggests that this particular cycle can perform more efficiently compared to a conventional one. Because of friction and manual driven system, the efficiency of the normal bicycle / tricycle will never reach up to 60 per cent. But in this case the efficiency is much more.
The Effi-Cycle has three wheels and is hybrid since it can be driven both electrically (battery-charged motor) and manually. If the battery fails, motor does not function and at that time the vehicle can be run manually. Motor-driven Effi-Cycle fetches a speed of 28-30 kmph, whereas when driven manually its speed can be anywhere between 15 and 18 kmph. It will be a useful mode of transport for the physically challenged since most of the time it runs on motor. A modification in the system is in process where introduction of solar energy would be considered. The battery section can be automatically charged using a solar panel. Thus the cycle will be treated as complete green cycle.
Regarding mechanical construction, Effi-Cycle consists of shock absorbing facility and shoe brakes in all three wheels. A rheostat is provided on the left side of the handle to control the flow of electricity in the motor, which leads to variation in the speed of the Effi Cycle. The overall system is also designed considering safety factors also.
In this system two people can put manual effort together if the battery fails thereby reducing the fatigue factor to a great extent. A carrier is also there which can carry load up to 500 kg.
The Effi-Cycle is economical too and its components are easily available in the market. This project has won the first prize at national level science and engineering fair, 2012, organised by Birla Industrial and Technological Museum. Each of us was awarded Rs 12,000 and a certificate. We also bagged second prize in Infocomm Calcutta, 2011, and in IET-UK Project Competition.
The Vision Classes started functioning in Patna four years ago with an aim to help meritorious students from underprivileged backgrounds crack the IIT-JEE exam. In a unique effort K.Singh, the director, set up a Day Scholar Camp in which students get to learn from nine in the morning till nine at night. Students are provided with food during their stay. “We have to teach from scratch-from level zero to the level of IIT,” says Singh.
Four senior faculty members coach these students. Avitanshu Kumar Adarsh, a student of the Day Scholar Camp, is a son of a poor grocer at Arwal district. “ I applied for Vision Classes after I came across a newspaper advertisement. Since I was a district topper in board exams, I was offered 100 per cent scholarship,” says Adarsh. He is grateful to the organisation because otherwise he would have never been able to afford such an expensive coaching. Adarsh ranked 557 among OBC candidates and qualified for IIT-Delhi. “After I get BTech degree, I wish to compete for civil service exam and serve in rural Bihar," says the bright boy.
Not just Adarsh, Avinash Kumar is another student of the Day Scholar Camp who got a rank of 2940 (general category). He too hails from a poor family.
Vision Classes is now planning to expand their endeavour to Calcutta, Ahmedabad and Vadodara, according to Singh.
Aakash Institute, which prepares students for medical and engineering entrance exams, recently organised annual award ceremony, VYOM, at Science City auditorium. Cricketer Kapil Dev, the guest of honour, gave away awards and inspired the students, parents and faculty members with his motivating speech.
The programme began with a Saraswati Vandana followed by a tribute to Rabindranath Tagore, which included a mix of the Scottish version of Rabindra Sangeet, Santoor and Sanskrit shlokas — all performed by the students. A senior faculty from zoology department presented Durga Stuti. There was also a group dance performance based on A.R. Rahman’s music. It was a great experience and we are looking ahead to many more such eventful evenings.
Ayan Mukherjee, student, Aakash Institute
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