Imagine a fully functional house that requires net zero electricity and in turn, stores energy for future use.
A group of about 70 engineering and architecture students from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay have designed and erected the unimaginable!
‘Project Solarise’ is the brainchild of team SHUNYA or ‘Sustainable Habitat for an Urbanizing Nation by its Young Aspirants’.
Built over 2,000 square feet, the solar powered villa comprises three well-furnished rooms along with a kitchen that is amply lit and air-conditioned.
Designed to suit the climatic conditions of Amaravati, the capital city of Andhra Pradesh, the house implements Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system incorporated within a hybrid architectural plan, which contains traditional architecture, contemporary interior designs, modern lifestyle and futuristic amenities, all amalgamated under a single roof.
The energy supply for the house is generated on its rooftop through solar panels, which has the added ability to route excess energy generated on sunny days to a power grid. Not limited just to the house, even the appliances here are powered by solar energy.
“We have a solar-powered oven and cooker, among other implements. We are looking to have a modular wiring system so that we don’t even need to run cables throughout the entire house. This will ensure a faster and more efficient wiring and fewer safety hazards as well,” K. Naga Bhavya Jyothi, who is the electrical head of the team, told Asian Age.
Currently, the team is gearing up to be part of the Solar Decathlon 2018, which will be held in Dezhou, China.
The Decathlon, which is touted to be the ‘Olympics of Solar Powered Houses’, is an international competition that where teams from across the world are posed with the challenge of building a fully functional solar-powered house sufficed with cutting-edge technology within a span of 12 days. “We’re the only team from India to have been selected for the competition, so it’s quite a proud moment for us,” explains Bhavya.
The team had previously taken part in the Solar Decathlon Europe in 2014, where they were felicitated with an honourable mention in “sustainability”.
However, the students aren’t limiting the scope of their project to just competitions.
According to project engineer Gunjan Auti, it has a great potential to power cities and towns in the country with proper financial backing.
“The smarthouse is a model which will run on sustainable energy, keeping in mind the affordability of a middle-class urban family. A hybrid grid with each house having an independent grid will be the future of urban housing. This technological revolution if collaborated with government bringing in private investments will lead to mass production and thus the technology could reach the middle-class Indian population at affordable rates,” she explained.
To reach out to team SHUNYA, you can mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.