Sonam Wangchuk Makes Mobile Solar-Powered Tent For Indian Army
According to a report by IANS, Ladakh-based engineer Sonam Wangchuk has invented a mobile solar-powered tent, accommodating 10 soldiers, for use by the Indian Army in high-altitude locations.
On asking how he came up with the idea, Wangchuk said that he decided to come up with the innovation after he came to know that around 50,000 Indian troops were deployed at high altitude areas in harsh winter conditions.
Wangchuk said "Indian and Chinese troops are being withdrawn from friction points. Disengagement is happening. It is good for both. Around 50,000 troops were deployed at high- altitude areas in harsh winter conditions. It was a difficult situation,".
When soldiers are deployed in harsh freezing temperatures, they stay in tents made of cloth or in iron containers, and lakhs of litres of kerosene are used. It is a very costly affair as it also adds pollution to the environment and affects glaciers at high altitude areas, Wangchuk said. “The soldiers too face problems using kerosene. many even suffer winter injuries,” the engineer said. He said that at the Himalayan Institute of Alternative Ladakh, they innovate on ways for comfortable living at higher altitudes.
“As our soldiers were living in high altitude areas, we decided why we should not develop solar-heated shelters for them,” said Wangchuk, who has probed solar-heated houses for the last 25 years. He said that 15 years ago, he had developed mobile shelters for nomad shepherds in the Changtang region of Ladakh. “We started working on a project of a passive solar-heated tent in the varsity. It took a month to develop the tent,” he said. The tent he came up with for the army is divided into two parts: ‘green house’ which is also known as the solar lounge and a sleeping chamber where soldiers sleep. The two parts are divided by a portable wall that is called the heat bank. The tent is covered by a waterproof ‘windcheater’. Soldiers can sit and work in the greenhouse part during the afternoon, while in the sleeping chamber, the temperature is maintained at 15 degrees Celsius.
The cost of the tent is Rs 5 lakh. "While making this tent, we kept in mind that these are portable. It is also made keeping in mind hilltops like Black Top, Rezang La and Siachen. When we open up this tent, it turns out into 30 to 40 parts and each part is less than 30 kg," Wangchuk said. He said that he designed the tent in close coordination and cooperation with the Indian Army. Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar thanked Wangchuk and said that the innovation was very timely, absolutely relevant and perfect as usual.