This incredible innovation keeps you cool even in the hot outdoors and uses less power than regular air conditioners. Meet Dashrath Patel, the man behind the unique AC sofa.
Dashrath Patel is a humble mechanic from Gujarat. He repairs air conditioners and electrical equipment for a living. But Dashrath is not destined to be just another mechanic.
He has invented the AC sofa, which brings temperatures down by 50 percent in 1 minute and is ideal for outdoor events.
The 45-year-old mechanic, who has studied only till Class 10, did a diploma course to understand the basics of mechanical engineering and make a career as a repair person. But the lack of a professional degree did not stop him from becoming an innovator.
The idea for the AC sofa came to Dashrath when he attended a family function in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, in 2007.
“It was an extremely hot summer afternoon. All the guests were sweating and looking for a cool place nearby. The function was outdoors so there was no air conditioning available. That is when I thought: ‘What if the sofas where people sit could act as ACs?’” recalls Dashrath.
He started working on the idea and initially planned on installing the air conditioner inside the sofa. But once the prototype was ready, he became concerned about the huge weight of the sofa — it weighed a hefty 175 kgs.
But Dashrath was determined to work more on his idea and come up with a feasible and usable design. He had heard of the ‘Design Clinic Scheme’ at the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), so he approached them.
MSME works in collaboration with the National Institute of Design (NID). It asked Ankit Vyas, an NID alumnus, to support Dashrath in modifying his design. With Ankit’s help, Dashrath was able to change the material and design and bring down the weight of the sofa to just 35 kgs.
The first prototype had been made entirely of wood — even the hosepipe was made of wood, which made the design heavy. In the new design, all the wood parts were replaced with fibre and PVC was used for the pipe.
The sofa works like a split AC. It has a unit inside the sofa linked by a pipe to an outer unit.
The outer unit is placed 10-15 ft away from the sofa to make the latter hassle-free and light. A blower is attached to the sofa, which takes the hot air from the surroundings and converts it into cool air instantly.
The airflow comes from the hand-rest part of the sofa and one can even control the temperature with a remote control.
The sofa has direct injected cooling technology, which enables fast cooling of the sofa. Direct Injection technology enables easier cold starting and better adjustments to changes in temperature.
The design runs on 250 watt electricity with a variation of 10 % in power. The sofa not only decreases the temperature, it also controls the humidity and fan speed.
The regular tower ACs that are in use today are costly and consume more power. Dashrath’s sofa consumes 10 percent less power than a regular tower AC.
Dashrath had spent Rs. 80,000 by the time the final design was finished. Some of the money came from his own pocket and the rest was given by the government. Dashrath plans to sell the product in the market for Rs 1.25 lakhs.
The sofa is mainly designed for outdoor events and gatherings but works indoors too. Since the price is quite high for the average family to afford, the focus market is event companies and hotels.