The real-life Phunsukh Wangdu, Mr. Sonam Wangchuk came up with an eco-friendly Solar Heated Tent for Army personnel. This Solar Heated Tent can be used by Army personnel in extremely cols places like Galwan Valley and Siachen in the Ladakh region.
What is the Solar Heated Tent?
It is known to all that Mr. Sonam Wnagchuk has made great contributions to the environment and has many environment-friendly innovations to his name. One of the innovations is the “Solar Heated Tent”. This new innovation not only saves the use of fossil fuel and its adverse effects on the environment but also looks after the safety of the military personnel.
“This tent uses the solar energy trapped during the daytime to keep the soldiers’ sleeping chamber warm during the night. Since there is no use of fossil fuel, it saves on money and also is emission-free,” he said.
Mr. Sonam Wangchuk also said that the temperature inside the sleeping areas of the military solar heated tents can be increased or decreased according to the requirement with the help of the insulation layers.
“The sleeping chamber has four layers of insulation and it gave a temperature of 15 degrees Celsius at a time when the outside temperature was minus 14 degrees Celsius. The number of layers can be reduced for warmer places,” he added
Further, keeping in mind the duty of a soldier, Mr. Sonam Wangchuk said that the temperature inside the solar heated tents should not be too cozy. The reason behind this is that the soldiers need to be ready to fight the enemy at any time and that too in the open where the temperature can be as low as -30 degrees Celsius.
Taking to Twitter, he shared the information about the solar tent and wrote, “SOLAR HEATED MILITARY TENT for Indian Army at Galwan Valley +15 C at 10 pm now. Min outside last night was -14 C, Replaces tons of kerosene, pollution, and climate change. For 10 jawans, fully portable all parts weigh less than 30 Kgs.“
Mr. Wangchuk clearly gave reference to the India-China standoff, that happened in 2019. He revealed that he made an earlier version of the Solar Heated tents 15 years back. At that time, he made these tents for the Shepherds who were engaged in rearing Pashmina goats. These goats are prominently famous for producing high-quality Cashmere wool.
Referring to the new prototype, Mr. Wangchuk said the tent is portable and can accommodate 10 soldiers.
“No component of the tent weighs more than 30 kg which makes it easily portable. The tent is disassembled into 30 to 40 components,” he said.
He further added that the weight of components can get down to 20 kg each with the use of super-light aluminum material. “That version will be more expensive than the current prototype,” he said.
Mr. Sonam Wangchuk took his team to the Himalayan Institute of Alternatives Ladakh (HIAL) for one month to make the prototype of the solar-heated tent.
He acknowledged the support provided by the Army in developing the solar-heated tent, saying “it has been designed keeping in mind the requirements of the Army“.
Mr. Sonam Wangchuk, while designing the Solar Heated Tents kept in mind the places like Siachen Glacier and Black Top Hill.
What are the features of the Solar Heated Tent?
There are several high-tech features in the solar-powered military tent, from lightweight to carbon-neutral, here are some of the features of this tent:
- This tent can sustain minimum temperatures. Wangchuk also mentioned that this tent has the potential to sustain minus 14 degree Celsius temperature too.
- The solar-powered tent is fully portable and its weight is less than 30 kilos.
- This tent can accommodate around ten people.
- The temperature of the tent can be increased or decreased by the insulation layers.
- The sleeping chamber of this tent has four layers of insulation.
About the Passive Solar Heated Tent:
- The front end of the tent is called the Greenhouse section, which uses solar energy to be heated
- The tent is not more than 30 kgs in weight.
- The tent is specifically made portable keeping in mind the mountain tops and heights the soldiers have to walk.
- The rear end has a sleeping chamber in which the soldiers can sleep during the nights
- The tent has a covering of a windcheater on it to guard it against the cold wind during winters.
- There is also a solar lounge on the front which is heated during the day and the soldiers can find sitting arrangements in it. However, at night this area would not be warm.
- The solar tent requires sun rays to enter from the South to heat the walls built in the front chamber. This wall is made of polycarbonate which does not allow the solar rays to exit the chamber.
- The sleeping chamber is surrounded by an insulator too so that the heat does not leave the tent.
- The sleeping chamber is situated in the north of the tent. It is surrounded by insulator bags like those in sleeping bags.
- The round structure of the tent reduces the surface area and prevents loss of heat from it.