Changing the Phase on High Power Bills

This simple innovation by a Mechanical Engineer can cut your power bill by half, finds Blessy Mathew Prasad
Changing the Phase on High Power Bills

Did you know that more than 40 per cent of electricity for domestic purposes is consumed by air conditioners? Add to that the amount of pollution and the nightmarish electricity bills and you won’t have to wonder where all that extra money has gotten to! “There’s gotta be a way to reduce the load,” thought Suman Jha, a fourth year Mechanical Engineering student at Dr MGR University.

Suman then started researching the concept of Phase change Materials. “I concluded that special properties of these materials can reduce the air-conditioning load. These materials have the ability to store and release heat without change in temperature. My team worked for a few months, tried a couple of methods and eventually decided to use smart construction materials,” he said. 

When the indoor temperature is high, smart construction materials absorb the excess heat by changing the phase from solid to liquid, and  vice-versa when the indoor temperature is low. This helps reduce the indoor temperature by up to 8 degrees and hence reduces the air-conditioning load by 40 to 50 per cent.

When Suman started working on the project in his second year, he sent out questionnaires with the title Let’s Change the World and selected his teammates based on the quality of answers. “The world is facing an energy crisis. If you talk about India, there are millions of houses without electricity. Appliances like air-conditioners and refrigerators consume around 60 per cent of the total electricity. If you are able to minimise this you will be able to save a huge amount of electricity and money,” says Suman. We need to find alternatives and this is one of the best alternatives for now,” he concludes. 

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