Student Builds Solar-Powered Car from Trash and Scraps in Sierra Leone
Yearning to provide a solution to the air pollution problem in the country, a student, Emmanuel Alieu Mansaray of Sierra Leone has built a solar-powered car from trash and scraps he sourced from his surroundings. Mansaray, a 24-year-old self-taught inventor, engineer, and renewable energy expert, has created the “Imagination Solar Car” to lessen the high risk of contracting incommunicable and respiratory diseases.
His passion for the environment and to solve social issues affecting his community inspired him to invent the eco-friendly car. The car doesn’t use any fossil fuel and is built from cane sticks (bamboo) and parts collected from garbage bins and scrapyard.
The project took three years of hard work to materialize the dream car of Mansaray. Now that the car is up and running, Mansaray regularly drives it around the town and can reach a speed of 15 kilometers per hour. The Imagination Car is designed using the country’s signature colors of green, white, and blue.
Mansaray aims to address goal 7 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals so that affordable and green energy can be provided to all. According to him, lung cancer, asthma among other diseases are the health complications that sometimes derive from inhaling harmful fumes emitted by vehicles using fossil fuels.
Often, people with disabilities encounter discrimination in public transport, others without their own vehicle hire a driver to be able to move on errands. This is one of the main reason of creating such an initiative in order to make it easy for the movement of the disabilities. Every disabled person can drive without hiring a driver.
Coming from a poor background, Mansaray didn’t have a lot of resources or money to accomplish his dream. However, he saved every penny he can for the past three years, till he had enough to buy all the important gear for the car. He couldn’t get any support – financial or moral – from the people he shared his idea with, so he befriended some people working at the scrapyards and sourced whatever scrap they could spare, and collected the rest from the dustbins.
His solar-powered car has been built with all the features installed in the steering; clutch, brake, and accelerator. It has a large solar panel on the roof of the car which powers the self-made engine. The solar panel operates by converting sunlight into electrical energy using photovoltaic cells. He saved little by little to purchase solar headlights, horn, cables, switch, mirror, headlights, and back-lights, to assemble and shape the solar-powered car.
Mansaray also addresses the discrimination that disabled people face in public transport or the difficulty to drive themselves in their personal vehicles. By including all necessary features in the steering wheel, he says that every disabled person can drive the Imagination Car with less to worry about.
While many have appreciated his creativity in building a solar-powered car using trash and scraps, a few have mocked and discouraged him through their snarky comments. Regardless of the negative remarks, Mansaray hasn’t let his enthusiasm down, as he shouldn’t because it takes a creative and courageous spirit to make something useful and impactful out of nothing, and that too with almost no resources.
Such inventions ought to be encouraged and backed up financially in order to save the environment and inspire more of such talent.
Via: Euro News