India’s climate is known for its severe heat, particularly in June when the country often experiences devastating heat waves. Zephyrus, a prominent organization focused on environmental issues, has taken on the challenge of addressing India’s heat problem. Just a month ago, temperatures soared to a scorching 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 Celsius), leading to tragic consequences. The states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar bore the brunt of this blistering heat, resulting in the unfortunate loss of 96 lives. The following is an overview of the situation and how Zephyrus tackles India’s heat.
Heat Waves Affect Daily Life
While the heat waves result in unsafe living and working conditions, this does not stop people from going out to earn a living. In attempts to protect themselves from the heat, workers tie a wet cloth on their heads. However, because of the strength of the heat, the populations’ health, productivity and economy have all taken a fall as a result. This is especially true for the plethora of workers that have to labor outdoors and in large open spaces.
Are Air Conditioners the Solution?
After working a long day in the blistering heat, it would only make sense to cool down in the comfort of air conditioning in your home. However, this is only a reality for 4.9% of Indians. According to the Stats of India Twitter Account, air coolers are more dominant than air conditioners. This is likely because they are cheaper as they take longer to cool a room when compared to an air conditioner. However, while more affordable, still only 14.1% of households have an air cooler.
Need for an Affordable Solution
Clearly, there is a huge need for a more affordable version of indoor cooling. However, there is also the challenge of ensuring the device is both environment-friendly and simple. Recently, a group of students in Gurugram found a solution. Five 10th-grade students created Zephyrus cleverly named after the Greek God of wind. They describe it as “an eco-friendly, 2-in-1 cooling device that tackles the challenges of a conventional cooler and can save water” (The Better India). Essentially, Zephyrus is tackling India’s heat problems. The students, V Sahil Seshadri, Lakshya Goswami, Uday Singh, Sourish Grover and Armaan Sharma were the masterminds behind this device.
Humidity Poses a Challenge
These boys recognized the challenge that many Indians face with a lack of cooling. To begin their journey of creating the next best thing, they interviewed school staff members who had cooling systems in their households. Through these interviews, the boys found that cooling systems come with many challenges, such as the need to constantly replace water tanks. This is especially an issue as India’s climate is very humid, resulting in the frequent use of cooling systems to combat humidity. The humidity stems from India’s long monsoon periods. The most humid period is the summer monsoon, from April to September.
How Zephyrus Tackles India’s Heat
The boys describe Zephyrus as a two-in-one heating and cooling system that is powered by cooling modules. Lakshya explains the intricacies: “When electric current flows through this device, one side gets extremely hot, and the other side gets freezing cold. This creates a necessary temperature difference required to create the dual effect of cooling.” Perhaps the most impressive part is that their system is 10% lower in cost than the typical cooler. The boys commented that when they begin to mass produce the product, they will continue to lower their price, as affordability is a primary factor to them.
Not only is Zephyrus affordable and successful at tackling India’s heat, but it is also eco-friendly. Zephyrus does not rely on a cooling agent, but rather the Peltier effect. The Peltier effect occurs when the cooling of a junction and the heating of a junction is in a circuit. This effect explains how modern refrigerators work. In addition, Zephyrus uses significantly less water than typical coolers. A typical cooler requires 3,000 liters of water a month whereas the Zephyrus only requires 300 liters. This alone could help save gallons of water nationwide.
The boys continue to make Zephyrus beneficial as they are planning to reduce their dependence on power and convert to relying on solar panels. This would reduce their carbon footprint. The affordability along with creative innovation is what makes the Zephyrus so impactful. Not only did these boys create a solution to a huge problem, but they proved the significance of science and technology in aiding society.
– Samsara Shrivastava