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Wheelchairs for physically disabled are driven exclusively using solar power in Switzerland


An exceptional solar project utilizing Kyocera’s solar modules has been awarded the 2012 Swiss Solar Prize: The wheelchairs of ten inhabitants at the Quimby Huus, an institution for the physically disabled in St. Gallen, Switzerland, are driven exclusively using solar power. A 3kW solar power generating system using Kyocera solar modules is installed on the roof of the Quimby Huus, providing 3,000kWh of clean electricity each year — enough to power the residents’ electric wheelchairs all year round without creating any CO2 emissions. This sustainable project is led by environmentally-committed Sandro Buff (30), who has been using a wheelchair himself for 16 years.

Electric wheelchairs typically would be powered by the main utility grid and usually require two 12 volt rechargeable batteries. The idea behind the Quimby Huus solar project was to derive this power entirely from renewable energy. The project was fully funded by sponsors, and the environmentally-friendly power generated from this installation enables the residents to travel approximately 1,500km per year in their wheelchairs, fuelled solely by the sun’s energy.

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