Solar-Powered Water Cooler

For my 9th grade science exhibition in Indus International School Hyderabad, my classmate An uttam Reddy and I built a Solar-Powered Water Cooler.

Idea: Now days due to global warming, the temperature has changed drastically, even though we are a month away from summer, the mercury is rising rapidly and we are nearing the low 40’s (Celsius). We thought that we should build something that can give the comfort of a cool air and run on low energy as the main cause of global warming is the enormous magnitude of the emission of harmful due generating power from non-renewable sources of energy to satisfy our ever increasing demand for electricity , and then we thought – a solar-powered water cooler! It uses very amount of resources: only a small amount of water – and whatever electricity that would be consumed would be created by a solar panel. So in the end there is no usage of electricity – and you can be air-conditioned!

Note: Ive taken this above passage from a document I created before we started this project, you can note how immature and narrow minded we were, completely neglecting the costs of solar panels, large car batteries, and inverters which all amounted to thousands of dollars (no we didn’t buy them, we borrowed them).

Materials:

  • Tulu Pump
  • 80cc Motor
  • Straw Pack
  • Fan
  • Solar Panel
  • Battery
  • Inverter

I got the battery, the panels, and the inverter from a kind company called Solar Semiconductor, and the materials used to build the water cooler were from third-party water cooler manufacturers in Koti, Hyderabad.

Simple Explanation of how an aircooler works:

As everyone knows change of state of matter requires energy to take place, and what is the energy that we need the least of all in summer? Heat energy! The water which will fall on the straw pack (in the form of mist so evaporation can take place much faster), will evaporate drawing in the heat needed to change its state of matter from the surroundings, thus creating cool air. Then the fan powered by the motor will blow the cool air towards the designated target reducing the temperature of the target.

Solar Woes

After constructing the water cooler I needed to obtain the solar panels and the batteries – well that’s all that I thought I needed. When I got to the factory of Solar Semiconductor I realized how difficult and expensive it is to produce solar energy. Instead of a small panel and a battery I came home with two 225 W Solar Panels, 400 KGs ofbatteries, 50 feet in wires, and a nice inverter.

How the Solar Aspect of Our Project Works

  1. When photon particles of light hit the silicon of the solar panel, electrons are produced and are collected by the stripes in the panel then the are sent out of the panel by an output wire.
  2. This output wire leads to the inverter, then the inverter stores the energy which is in the form of Direct Current (or DC) inside the batteries.
  3. When there is an demand for electricity by the main output (my cooler), the electricity in the DC form goes to the inverter – gets converted into AC form of electricity then it is sent to my air cooler and it works!
Confessions
I have to be modest and admit that this wasn’t fully our work. We had help drilling holes in the frame of the water-cooler and we got help with some of the connections . I was taught how to assemble the solar panel and the inverter, along with the battery at the Solar Semiconductor factory. Nevertheless my partner and I put in tons of hours try in research, construction of the project, retrieving the materials for the product etc. And we were also bound by an extremely tight deadline. The science exhibition arranged by our school was voluntary and it wasn’t a competition, but we were just used as a tool for marketing =).
Criticism
We received criticism from jealous peers that our project was not original and we didn’t do any work on it, but like I said before, we put in lots of work researching into this topic, learning how to assemble the entire major circuit, assembling parts of the solar cooler excluding drilling and final circuits etc.
Affordable? Efficient?
*coming soon*
Future Plans
Possibly in grade 11 or even the summer before grade 12 I am planning to create an AC generator from an elliptical bike that will generate electricity that can be stored in a battery to run low power demanding household appliances.
Ending Note
I believe that this project was truly a priceless experience for my partner and I, this project has sparked a flame of innovation in both of us, not only in the field of clean energy but also in providing solutions to other issues that plague  our modern day society.

 

THANKS FOR READING, BE SURE TO CONSTANTLY CHECK OUT MY BLOG FOR NEW UPCOMING POSTS ON MY ACTIVITIES AND OTHER PROJECTS

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