Chennai engineering students take the green route, develop an air cooler that can run without power
The world is slowly becoming environmentally conscious and moving towards sustainability by adopting eco-friendly lifestyle and products.
At a macro level, there are scientists, governmental agencies, and other organisations who are working to mitigate environmental issues. And back home, six engineering students from Rajalakshmi Engineering College, Chennai, have developed an air cooler that is both eco-friendly and low cost.
Known as team ‘The_Tachyons’, the students were also awarded Rs 1 lakh for their innovation at the Smart India Hackathon held at Reva University, Bengaluru.
The product is an air-cooling system, which converts moist air into dry air without any power consumption.
“Air conditioner affects the environment badly. This can be replaced by our product, which is eco-friendly,” says 20-year-old Shenbagapandiyan B, who is the team leader.
Apart from Shenbagapandiyan, other team members include Shyam Sundar J (20), Venkatasubramanian SS (20), Sharath Prasanna R (18), Shreelekha D (20) and Madhumita S (19).
Environment-friendly air cooler
The students have developed the product which works on the basic principle of evaporation. The product has two chambers - one is a desiccant chamber and the other is a cooling chamber.
With the help of a blower, the product sucks the air from the atmosphere and sends it to the desiccant chamber. Calcium carbonate acts as the desiccant in the product.
In the desiccant chamber, the humid air, which has moisture content in it, will be converted into dry air, as the desiccant absorbs the moisture. Once this is done, the dry air will be sent to the cooling chamber. Here, water will be drizzling drop by drop. Once the dry air makes contact with the water, the temperature of the air gets reduced.
To reuse the desiccant, the desiccant chamber will be connected to a regenerator, where the heat will be supplied from the fuel cell.
“We have combined air cooler with fuel cell. We are utilising all three outputs (water, heat, and electricity) from fuel cell for evaporative air cooler,” explained Shenbagapandiyan.
He further added that their product can be suitable for households with low economy.
Challenges and future plans
“The advantage of the product is that it can be used in all kinds of regions such as coastal areas and dry regions. The product will also help in reducing the temperature of the region as well. The USP of our product is that it is eco-friendly, low-cost and takes low power consumption,” said Shenbagapandiyan.
The students, however, said that designing the fuel cell is a difficult task for them as it is expensive and not easily available to buy currently. They say that in order to develop the product with a fuel cell, they require funding.
Hence the team plans to launch the product in the market once they are ready with the complete product. They also have plans to make use of the product in vehicles in the future.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)