The heat is getting harder to handle with each summer, and people are increasingly opting for air conditioners. In spite of their popularity, we are also quite aware of the damaging effect ACs can have on the environment.
Two students from IIT Kharagpur have come up an alternative option that could act as a potential replacement for air conditioners.
Team “Takniquee” comprising Sahashranshu Maurya and Somrup Chakraborty from the department of geology and geophysics have developed a cooling system called passive solar water wall which revolves around a rectangular water tank fitted into a wall. Their proposal for the cooling system is India’s entry among the five finalists of Shell Ideas360 Audience Choice Awards.
“This ties with future city concept. The water tank is different from conventional tanks as it has a very high surface area so maximum air can interact with the tank walls and get cooled. It could be an alternative to air conditioners in the future,” Sahashranshu told the press, as reported by Financial Express.
According to Sahashranshu, ACs contribute to about 35 per cent of total household electricity consumption and produces 1.5 tonnes of carbon every year. The passive solar water wall takes these considerations into account.
“The water is heated and passively circulated keeping the inner wall relatively cool, reducing the air temperature and the need for air cooling systems,” he added.
The benefits would include no CFC and carbon emission, minimal electricity usage and a whopping 50 per cent reduction in cooling cost.
According to the founders, water is key to addressing the issues raised by the usage of conventional air conditioners. “Water has a high heat capacity, so it can resist any major temperature change by absorbing heat. If we install our water tanks in the walls of the buildings, we can make it resistant to major temperature changes. Also, the heat absorbed will be continuously removed from the system by daily household use of water,” they added.
With the use of air-conditioners on the rise, amidst concerns of global warming, initiatives such as these can pave the way for sustainable technological innovation.