‘Solar Decathlon’ beckons IIT-B students

For the first time ever, an Indian team will be participating in Solar Decathalon, an international competition where student teams from across the world try to build houses powered only on solar power. The competition organised by the U.S. department of energy will see a team of 100 students from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) vie for the top prize in the finals that will be held in Versailles, France in 2014.
Talking about the house being constructed by them, Enakshee Bhatia, a member of team Shunya (name taken on by the students) said, “The house plans, the architectural designs, interiors, material to be used and so on has already been decided. The house has an urban outlook and has been designed keeping a typical Indian family in mind.”
She added that the 700-sq-ft house would be made entirely of eco-friendly material and cost approximately `35 lakhs. “The house will have a permanent bedroom and a convertible bedroom. The furniture will be multi-utility and will have a touch of Indian culture to it too. A typical Indian family consists of a husband and wife, their two children and grandparents,” elaborated Ms Bhatia who is from the department of architecture.
Elaborating on the house’s power generation and consumption, Adwit Kashyap, another student from the engineering department said, “The power source will be photo voltaic cells mounted on the roof of the house. It can reach a peak generation of 5 kw and the generated power will be used to run appliances found generally in Indian households,” said Mr Kashyap.
He added that the appliances included a TV, air conditioner, dishwasher, washing machine, refrigerator and so on. When asked if the power generated by the house will suffice for the appliances he said, “The power supply will be based on a grid wherein excess power will be transferred to the grid and deficiencies will be also be compensated from there,” said Kashyap.
According to Moonlight Basumatary, communications co-ordinator, team Shunya, work on building the house would start on October 1 and is expected to be completed by March next year. “After all aspects are tested to the satisfaction of the team, it will be dismantled in May and shipped to Versailles where it will be reassembled in time for the competition which will be held in June-July 2014,” said Mr Basumatary.

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