Innovation knows no bars. In this age of modernisation, engineers have left no stone unturned to provide solutions to the problems, which most of us had learnt to live with. Taking notice of the accommodation woes of Indian Army soldiers in the freezing conditions of Galwan valley, a highly renowned innovator and engineer, Mr Sonam Wangchuk builds a portable solar-heated military tent.
SOLAR HEATED MILITARY TENT— Sonam Wangchuk (@Wangchuk66) February 19, 2021
for #indianarmy at #galwanvalley
+15 C at 10pm now.
Min outside last night was -14 C,
Replaces tons of kerosesne, pollution #climatechange
For 10 jawans, fully portable all parts weigh less than 30 Kgs. #MadeInIndia #MadeInLadakh #CarbonNeutral pic.twitter.com/iaGGIG5LG3
The tent can accommodate 10 jawans at a time. It is able to keep the inside temperature, warmer by around 30° C compared to the outside. It is fully portable with each part weighing less than 30 kgs. Goes without saying, it will bring huge respite for our valiant soldiers’, in the testing conditions of the border region. In addition, this environment-friendly tent helps to avoid air pollution caused by the burning of tons of kerosene, thus aids in fighting climate change too.
Journey of building the solar tent
In a video shared by Sonam Wangchuk himself on Youtube, he speaks about the journey of this innovation and how his previous work helped him and his team reach this level of perfection. He starts by welcoming the disengagement process between Indian and Chinese forces at Pangong lake.
Further in the video, he announces the portable solar heated shelters for the jawans posted at the border. He explains how his team at the Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, Ladakh, benefitted from their prior expertise in making solar-heated homes in the Ladakh region. Building on the experience, they reengineered the solution for a passive solar heated portable tent.
How the solar powered tent works
The lifesaver tent took one month to build. It is divided into two portions, a greenhouse solar lounge and a sleeping chamber. The solar lounge provides comfortable temperatures during the day while the sleeping chamber is suitably warm at night. The division between the two portions acts as a heat bank. The accumulated heat provides warmth to the sleeping chamber at night when it is required the most.
The separation is made up of polycarbonate sheets, which along with water traps the heat coming in from the lounge section and locks it inside which is available to the highly insulated sleeping chamber later in the night. The sleeping chamber has multiple layers of insulation to prevent the trapped heat from escaping. The insulation layers can be reduced if the geographical region is relatively warmer. The tent is also designed to keep the surface area less, which further assist in reducing heat loss.
Cost-effectiveness of the portable shelter
The tent can be dissembled into 30-40 pieces with each chunk not weighing more than 30 kgs. This was a major consideration as it was very essential for the tent to be portable. The costlier version of the tank which is made using aluminium further brings down the weight to around 20 kg apiece. Compared to the alternatives available with the army, this is both efficient and cost-effective. In fact, the brand new zero-carbon, sustainable and portable tent offers double the space for soldiers at almost half the price of existing arrangements with the Indian Army.
In the Ladakh region, more lives are lost due to the harsh weather conditions than human clashes. Hence, we believe this long overdue remarkable achievement is going to go a long way in serving the Indian Army.
Signing off now, stay tuned for similar information about events, which gives us hope of a better world for our future generations. See you all in our next episode.
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