Hybrid transport solutions proposed

The Hybrid Electric Road Train was developed by the Metals Industry Research and Development Center of the Department of Science and Technology that uses diesel fuel and electric batteries.

With oil prices skyrocketing due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Philippines should have a fuel diversified transport system using electric trains and trikes.

Already, the country manufactures electric vehicles (e-vehicles), from e-Trikes, e-scooters, e-Jeepneys to Hybrid Electric Train and the Hybrid Electric Road Trains, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña pointed out in last week’s virtual presser.

“We should adopt these solutions to show we can show we can be mobile without relying on fossil fuels,” stressed DOST-III Regional Director Julius Caesar V. Sicat.

The department has developed readily available technologies to alleviate the impact of the current situation of rising oil prices.

“DOST has 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,” he reiterated.

“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,” Secretary de la Peña pointed out.

While the hybrid trains still use fuel and batteries, they can be charged and reduce their fuel consumption by about 25 percent.

Hopefully, before the end of June, the DOST can launch the Hybrid Trimaran.

The hybrid trimaran uses wave energy where power is converted into mechanical energy to cut down fuel consumption.

For e-vehicles, the Cagayan State University in Tuguegarao City is implementing an ongoing e-trike project from University of the Philippines Diliman College of Engineering.

DOST wants to promote locally developed e-vehicle fast charging systems and modeling tools for strategically locating charging station sites for a particular number of e-vehicle in a specific route.

“We want to find ways to support the enhancement (of e-vehicles) through improved infrastructure, continuous research and development,” says Sec. de la Peña.

Earlier, DOST developed electric charging stations for e-vehicles called Charging in Minutes (CharM), reducing the charging time of utility-grade electric vehicles from hours to just minutes.

As for the use of fuel, the department recommends 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,” the Secretary explained.

Notably, regional efforts to develop and use an alternative source of energy for mobilization, such as the solar cart, has progressed.

Tarlac State University ( TSU) has come up with a solar cart, according to Regional Director Sicat.

TSU has designed solar panels on top of the vehicles, enabling them to run for three years without charging.

The charging system operates via solar while the e-vehicle is in use or parked. A regulator ensures that the battery is not overcharged.

“I believe this is something that is ready for commercialization,” he emphasized.

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