India’s First Solar Heated Tent
Imagine a scenario, you have to spend your days at a place where the temperature is below zero. You not only have to live there but also have to perform some very difficult tasks.
By end of the day, when you will be tired, you need a warm place to rest, but because of lack of electricity, you cannot have it. This is the daily life of our jawans at places like Ladakh and Siachen. They had to stand still when the outside temperature is below -20 degrees.
But not anymore, Mr. Sonam Wangchuk has invented the solar-heated tent, especially for the Indian Military. Let’s understand the working principle behind this solar tent and how it is helping our jawans.
One tent can accommodate 10 people. The total weight of one tent is just 30 Kg and it’s portable.
No component of the tent weighs more than 30 kg which makes it easily portable. The tent can be disassembled into 30 to 40 components. That version will be more expensive than the current prototype. It has been designed keeping in mind the requirements of the Army,” Mr. Wangchuk said.
The sun rays enter the tent from the south direction. the tent has a special chamber made up of polycarbonate which does not allow the rays to go out. The entire tent is insulated so that heat does not leave the tent.
The tent also has a wind-cheater covering which does not let the cold wind affect the inner temperature.
This tent has helped the Indian army to reduce their dependence on fuels like kerosine and further reduced CO2 emissions.
For the daytime, a special solar lounge is designed in the tent where the army personals can have a sitting arrangement and enjoy the sun.
Mr. Wangchuk is working with his team to lower the weight of the tent. The second version of the tent will be made of superlight Aluminum material.
An interesting fact about the inventor of the solar tent is that Mr. Sonam Wangchuk is the inspiration behind the character Phunsuk Wangdu played by Amir Khan in the Bollywood movie Three Idiots, 2009
Mr. Wangchuk is famous for his environment-friendly innovations like ice-stupa which is a smaller artificial glacier.
Significance of the Solar Heated Tent:
- The tent would be portable and is heated by solar energy, which happens to be a renewable source of energy.
- Its usage would avoid tonnes of kerosene being used and imported from the Middle east.
- Also if there would be no burning of kerosene, there would be lesser pollution in the Himalayan regions.
- The army officers and personnel would be able to keep warm in temperatures as low as -14 degrees centigrades.
How It Works:
- The solar tent requires sun rays to enter from the South to heat the walls built in the front chamber. This wall is made of polycarbonate which does not allow the solar rays to exit the chamber.
- The sleeping chamber is surrounded by an insulator too so that the heat does not leave the tent.
- The sleeping chamber is situated north of the tent. It is surrounded by insulator bags like those in sleeping bags.
- The round structure of the tent reduces the surface area and prevents loss of heat from it.
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