Tarlac City shows off solar-powered cart in regional S&T fest

By Mary Jane Tadili

As host of the first regional celebration of the National Science and Technology Week for 2018, Tarlac City unveiled last week an environment-friendly vehicle called SPInCart or Solar Power Innovative Cart.

The solar-powered vehicle, which can only travel short distances, is a collaboration between DOST and Tarlac State University to possibly address the increasing prices of fuel consumption in the region.

The SPInCart is a five-seater vehicle with solar panels that have a rated maximum power of 500 watts. It has two circle brake system and runs at a maximum speed of 25 kilometers per hour.

Tarlac City mayor Ma. Cristina Angeles led the celebration of the regional version of the NSTW, which was held in July at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

In her speech, Angeles said the DOST has extended technical support to various livelihood programs in the city such as citronella oil production and water-lily handicrafts projects.

“We also recently requested the DOST to help Tarlac City harness solar energy to power our irrigation system to supply water to elementary schools,” Angeles said.

The event was also attended by DOST secretary Fortunato dela Pena who discussed some of the programs of the agency, particularly on space technology (Diwata I and Diwata II) and Project SARAI (Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate Agriculture as Industry in the Philippines).

Julius Ceazar Sicat, director for DOST Region III, said this year’s celebration is anchored on the directive of dela Pena to develop technologies that are “world-class, relevant and region-based”.

“We make it as a policy to celebrate RSTW each year in every province of the region to bring to the people what we are doing in DOST, which is to make science relevant and that the innovations and breakthroughs are felt by the people,” Sicat said.

Sicat added that the DOST’s partnership with state universities and colleges (SUCs) and other higher educational institutions in the region have been able to provide technologies and solutions to problems that are area-specific.

Sicat also revealed they are in the process of improving — and hopefully ready to roll out next year – their first prototype of an amphibious vehicle popularly known as SWAN (Severe Weather Amphibious Navigator).

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