IIT Kharagpur students find potential replacement of ACs

Two students of IIT Kharagpur from Geology and Geophysics department have found a replacement of Air conditioners. Sahashranshu Maurya and Somrup Chakraborty, have developed a cooling system which is called passive solar water wall. This solar water wall revolves around a rectangular water tank which is fitted into the wall. The concept is a key to India’s entry in 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 cool. It could be an alternative to air conditioners in the future,” said Maurya.

IIT Kharagpur
IIT Kharagpur students.

Maurya further added that ACs contribute to about 35 percent of total household electricity consumption and produces 1.5 tons of carbon every year which is quite a large amount. The water is heated and passively circulated keeping the inner wall relatively cool, reducing the air temperature and the need for air cooling systems, Maurya said in the pitch for the awards open to voting by audiences. “For a basic set up, an initial investment would be about a lakh of rupees but this will be worth its effects. The design would evolve depending on the architecture,” he said.

“A large number of ACs contribute to the increase in local urban temperatures. The efficiency of the ACs depends upon the temperature difference they are trying to maintain. They are creating the very problem they are trying to solve. Also, consider the scenario that the global average temperature is increasing. The number of Acs in the market is going to sore. Is that the real solution?” the team posted in their pitch.

They claim the benefits are: no CFC emission, no carbon emission, almost negligible electricity usage and a 50 percent reduction in the cooling cost. “What we say is all the issues are addressed here by just using water. Water has a high heat capacity, so it resists 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.

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