Self-made solar sweepers

Added On November 15, 2013

In a county in north China's Hebei Province, there are two distinctive road sweepers catching people's eye.

These solar-powered sweepers were designed and built by the head of the county's environmental department in an effort to cut carbon emission and to improve work efficiency.

Wang Xiaodong is the head of the Sanitation Office in Chengdeng County of Hebei Province.

His invention of the solar sweeper has just been awarded a patent by the State Intellectual Property Bureau.

SOUNDBITE: WANG XIAODONG, Head of Chengde Sanitation Office
"I had never thought of creating a solar sweeper until I came to the sanitation office. We had two giant fuel-powered motor sweepers. But after several trial runs, we found it used up too much fuel, about 20 liters per hour, which contributed a large amount of air pollution. And the giant sweeper was also unfit for our narrow streets. Then I began considering using electric vehicles instead. And I spent nearly three years working out the possibilities."

According to Wang, the sweeper uses electricity. On sunny days, it takes advantage of solar energy in order to run. And when it is overcast, it uses storage batteries.

A solar sweeper can work for eight hours continuously on one charge - with zero emissions.

SOUNDBITE: WANG XIAODONG, Head of Chengde Sanitation Office
"But the electric system also had a problem whereby it could't guarantee the battery's endurance. To resolve such problems, we later use solar panels instead, as it can absorb solar energy constantly and charge easily."

In September of 2012, with the support of the county government, a high-tech environmental facility with proprietary intellectual property rights was established in Chengde.

The company is mainly engaged in producing solar electric vehicles invented by Wang Xiaodong.

Currently, the products are implementing trial production. Ten cars of the first batch have been in the installing stage. Prototype testing and road cleaning experiment have been finished.

With prototype testing and road cleaning experiments already successfully completed, the sweeper is capable of cleaning an area of 14,000 square meters per hour, 8 times more than manual cleaning.

Wang said he plans to expand production after completing a collection of all the technical data and resolving any possible issues.

SOUNDBITE: WANG XIAODONG, Head of Chengde Sanitation Office
"We will train a group of talented people according to the technical requirements and increase the output. The next step is to standardize the producing process and further improve the quality, in order to meet market demands."