The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that by 2050, the global demand for space cooling will increase by three times. According to IEA, India will account for a third of all AC sales in the coming decades.

Cooling devices like ACs release more hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants (HFCs) — a major contributor to global heating — into the atmosphere.

Looking for energy-efficient alternatives led Ashutosh Verma to build a solar power AC, which he sells through his company Exalta.

The data scientist claims that his units can save up to 80% electricity and have a shelf life of 25 years. Image courtesy Exalta.

“With our solar ACs, users are expected to save approximately 600 units of electricity per month, which can reduce their electricity bills by Rs 5,500,” he says.

The idea came to him as a child, when he was unhappy with his family using the air conditioner judiciously.

So he wanted to build an air conditioner where people wouldn’t have to worry about the electricity bill.

Hours of research in 2009 led him to find that the solution to his problem was solar air conditioning.

“Not only do solar air conditioners help preserve resources and cause less damage to the environment, but they are also cheaper in comparison to conventional ACs. A solar AC takes energy from a heat source and functions just like a regular AC,” he says.

After completing his MTech, he worked as a data scientist before starting Exalta in 2011 with an investment of Rs 8 lakh.

He incubated his company at SIIC (Start-up Incubation and Innovation Centre) of IIT Kanpur.

Exalta’s solar ACs start at Rs 45,000. All the parts of AC are manufactured in India except the indoor unit, which is imported from Thailand.

Ashutosh says they sell 300 to 500 solar ACs every month across the world, in countries like Dubai, Oman, and Nigeria.

On purchasing the unit, one has to install six 320-watt panels on the rooftop of residential or commercial buildings.

Besides solar AC, Exalta also manufactures solar refrigerators, mini ventilators, inverters, freezers, deep freezers, and compressors, all of which are eco-friendly and consume less energy, he informs.

“We are now planning to make hydrogen-based products, which are considered one of the cleanest fuels for the future, like hydrogen choola, engines, etc,” he adds.