With the recent series of oil price hikes that has been affecting the transport sector heavily, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) shared the readily available technologies that were developed by the department and other plans that can alleviate the impact of the current fuel situation.
The DOST is pushing for a fuel-diversified transport system and solutions, according to Science Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña in a virtual presser on March 9.
The Science chief said that electric vehicles (e-vehicles), such as the e-trike, e-scooter and e-jeepney are already being manufactured in the country.
There are also the DOST-developed Hybrid Electric Train and Hybrid Electric Road Train, the latter is being adopted in the regions.
“We [in the DOST] have already developed several innovative products, particularly in the case of mass transport like Hybrid Train which is already in the possession of the Philippine National Railways. We have also developed the running prototypes of Hybrid Electric Road Train, which are now in the possession or being run in the cities of Cauayan in Isabela and General Santos in South Cotabato,” de la Peña said.
He said that hopefully, before the end of June, the Hybrid Trimaran, will be launched. The trimaran—the world’s first ocean-wave powered boat—is being built in Aklan.
The environment-friendly, safe and unsinkable fast sea craft can carry 100 passengers, four vans and up to 15 motorcycles. It is being built by Metallica Shipyard with support of the DOST’s Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development, the Aklan State University and the Maritime Industry Authority.
De la Peña explained that while the trains are using fuel and batteries, they can be charged and reduce their fuel consumption by about 25 percent.
Meanwhile, trimaran uses wave energy, where power is converted into mechanical energy that results in the reduction of fuel consumption.
On the other hand, for e-vehicles, an ongoing project on e-trike is now being implemented by the Cagayan State University in Tuguegarao City, with implementors from the University of the Philippines Diliman College of Engineering.
De la Peña also said that DOST is promoting the locally developed e-vehicle fast-charging systems and modeling tools for strategically located charging station sites for e-vehicles.
“Our goal and plan right now in DOST is to find ways to support its enhancement through improved infrastructure and continuous research and development related to them [e-vehicles],” de la Peña said.
He added that the DOST has also developed earlier the electric charging stations for e-vehicles called Charging in Minutes (CharM), which refers to the rapid charging system that reduces the charging time of utility-grade electric vehicles from hours to just minutes.
On the use of fuel, the country’s Science department is recommending a technology to help monitor and conserve energy like cloud-based monitors and e-sensors.
“It can provide smart and comprehensive decision support that management can use whether they have to make adjustments, for example, in the use of certain equipment, or they need to replace equipment that is not functioning well and wasteful in the use of energy,” de la Peña said.
At the same time, DOST-III Regional Director Julius Caesar V. Sicat shared their efforts in developing and utilizing an alternative source of energy for mobilization, such as the solar cart that has already been developed by the Tarlac State University (TSU).
“The solar cart has been running for three years without charging because it has solar panels on top. The charging system, that was designed by TSU, allows it to charge while it is being used or parked,” Sicat explained in Filipino. “It has a regulator that prevents the battery to overcharge.”
“I believe this is ready for commercialization,” he said.
Sicat added that the technology should be adopted in order to show that people can be mobile without relying on the use of fossil fuels.
Image credits: DOST web site