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News - July 2012

EE Department’s solar-powered car Leepad 2 takes off

Date Posted: Jul 12, 2012 at 05:29:28 PM

Adamson University's  quest for technological and engineering advancement continues as it launched its second solar-powered electric car to the AdU community.


Leepad 2, the second such car developed by students and faculty from AdU’s Electrical Engineering Department, was given the grand launch treatment when it was premiered last June 26 at the ST Quad. The launch was attended by university officials, members of the Engineering community, and the project’s sponsors.


Leepad 2 is the much improved, more powerful successor of Leepad, the original hybrid solar energy-powered car developed by EE students and faculty as a response to the University President’s call for a “green” university. Now a four-wheeled vehicle from the previous three wheels, the car runs on electric propulsion and can run continuously for five to six hours at speeds of 20 to 40 kilometers per hour. It has more solar panels than Leepad and can be charged through the usual home outlets or by parking it under sunlight. Leepad 2 has a passenger capacity of four to five persons including the driver.


The solar car’s power gets two big boosters: an MCU-based charging station developed by Computer Engineering students and the Xantrex XW MPPT Solar Charge Controller. The acquisition of the Xantrex XW MPPT Solar Charge Controller, developed by Schneider Electric Philippines, enhances Leepad 2 by allowing the team to track and regulate the maximum electrical power point of the photovoltaic array to deliver the maximum available current for its batteries, thus prolonging Leepad 2’s battery life.


The launching began with opening remarks from Engr. Evelyn Raguindin, the new dean of the College of Engineering, who expressed her optimism in seeing Leepad 2 flying in the metropolis. Messages were also given by Fr. Gregorio Bañaga Jr., C.M., University President, and by Fr. Francisco Nicolas Magnaye Jr., C.M., Vice President for Academic Affairs. Fr. Bañaga and Fr. Magnaye expressed their pride in the project, with Fr. Bañaga saying that Leepad 2 is an example of putting into practice the theories learned in the classroom. The University President also expressed that Leepad 2 could be a spur for entrepreneurship, in coming up with good ideas and making them a reality.


Engr. Virgilio Lomotan, chairperson of the EE Department and co-researcher for Leepad 2, introduced the vehicle to the public with an audio-visual presentation detailing Leepad 2’s specs and improvements. The introduction was then followed by the giving of the plaques of appreciation to the project’s sponsors and the ceremonial turnover of the keys from Engr. Lomotan to Fr. Bañaga.


One of Leepad’s sponsors, Schneider Electric Philippines, also made a presentation during the program. Schneider Electric’s country president Philippe Reveilhac spoke at the presentation, where he said that he is proud to be at Adamson and congratulated the University for the achievement and for encouraging projects such as Leepad 2. Reveilhac also said that Schneider Electric gave its support to Adamson because it believes in providing opportunities and giving power to young researchers like the team behind Leepad 2.


Engr. Jose Cericel Driz, EE Department faculty member, ended the formal program with his closing remarks. Prof. Alejandro Nueva, Jr. hosted the program.


The other sponsors of the project were De Lorenzo Engineering Training Solutions, ETAP, Adamson University Alumni Association Inc., EE Alumni Association president Engr. Melecio Sustento, Jr., and Engr. Francis Cabel, EE alumni and Emergency Response Plan Facilities Manager at Etihad Airways.


The Leepad team is composed of senior EE students with Engr. Lomotan as co-researcher. The researchers are Jinelyn Abregoso, Ryan Lester De Castro, Noriel Ogang, Rey Jonathan Postor, Karl Alexis Dimalanta, Michael Valer Mariano, Jeño Palencia, John Edward Reolente, Reginald Tating, and Paul Jeffrey Monteser, who acted as team leader.