Palak a journalism graduate believes in simplifying the complicated and writing about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. She calls herself a " hodophile" or in layman words- a person who loves to travel.
Sonam Wangchuk, the Ladakh-based engineer, innovator and education reformist, announced that he along with his team at Himalayan Institute of Alternatives (HIAL) have developed the prototype of 'Ladakh Solar Tent' which can keep the Indian Army soldiers warm in sub-zero temperatures.
Wangchuk said that they have built the tent keeping in mind the specific needs of the Indian Army soldiers. With space to shelter at least 10 jawans, the structure is solar-powered and does not require fuel for heating purposes. The structure weighs less than 30 kgs and doesn't emit any harmful pollutants.
"+15 C at 10pm. Minimum outside last night was -14 C, Uses only Sunlight, water and insulated layers to maintain temperature," Wangchuk wrote. "Designed for 8 to 10 soldiers, it is fully portable for difficult terrains. Each part weighs less than 30 Kgs," he tweeted.
Wangchuk explained that the soldiers from both India and their Chinese counterparts have been in talks to disengage troops from the Line of Actual Control. In the area, the jawans usually find refuge in tents made of clothes or containers made of iron to combat cold. A massive amount of fuel is burnt to keep the troops warm in the extreme cold weather.
The innovator had been working on the idea for over a decade now. He made the first tent for the nomads living in the Changthang region. To further polish the design, his team started working on a passive solar heated tent for the Indian Army.
The preliminary idea was to have a tent that would utilize solar energy, eliminate the use and cost of fuel thereby making it completely eco friendly. Wangchuk and his team built the tent within a span of four weeks.
The entire structure has been divided into two parts. One of the halves is the 'greenhouse/solar lounge' which absorbs the Sunlight. The soldiers can use this space only during the day for several activities. Meanwhile, the other half is the 'sleeping chamber'— insulated with a wind sheeter and warm coverings where the soldiers can sleep.
The partition that divides both the halves works as a 'heat bank' that absorbs the heat from the Sun and would release the heat at night. The tent uses water to store the heat, while the insulation helps maintain the temperature at night.
He also added that the shape of the structure has been designed to ensure optimum and efficient utilisation of solar energy.
The solar-powered tent has been built at a cost of about ₹5 lakh. The cost, however, may vary depending on the scale and size. Wangchuk pointed out that the container cabins which are currently being used offer smaller spaces than his prototype and costs about ₹9-10 lakh.
Hinting at the recent incidents of natural calamities in Uttarakhand, Wangchuk said that rapidly melting glaciers and an increase in pollution-level are triggering behavioural changes in the ecosystem and its components. He also said that it is important to take note of the carbon footprint being generated and to switch to alternate resources to save the environment.
Netizens who have been following Wangchuk for his innovations hailed the engineer for his newest sustainable invention.
Who Is Sonam Wangchuk?
Born on September 1, 1966, Sonam Wangchuk is the one who inspired the character of 'Phunsukh Wandgdu' in the Bollywood movie '3 Idiots'. He has been working on reforming the education system for more than 30 years.
In 1988, He founded the Students' Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL) to bring reforms in the government school system in the trans-Himalayan region of Ladakh. He is also known for designing the SECMOL campus that completely runs on solar energy.
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