Gadgets

Indian students invent a jacket with solar panel to charge mobiles and a device to convert sea water to pure water

The students of BIET invented a jacket with a solar panel that has the capability to charge your mobiles. Solar chargers for smartphones are nothing new. But you don’t get to wear them on you in most cases. This Solar Panel Jacket aims to change that. It has a battery to keep your mobile devices going on the go. The battery is powerful enough to charge most smartphones.   

By wearing this jacket having a small solar panel, designed by students of Bapuji Institute of Engineering and Technology (BIET), Davanagere, you can go on charging your mobile phone, iPad, and other accessories while on the move. The students from B.V. Bhoomaraddi College of Engineering and Technology (BVBCET) designed a cost-effective model of converting seawater to pure water.  

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Images credit: H.S. Manjunath  

These are among the projects exhibited at the two-day State-level Seminar and Exhibition of Students Project. This seminar and student projects’ exhibition has been organized by the Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology on the campus of Sahyadri College of Engineering and Management.   

The students of BIET call the jacket they designed “Solar Garment with enhanced comfort properties”. “When we are on a trek we generally have problems charging mobiles and iPad. Hence we came up with this jacket,” said, Inchara B. Channapala, who passed out from the college in the Textile Technology course this year. Among others in this team are Kajal N., Sunita D., Shilpa D.N. and Spoorthi N. Kadekoppa.   

Ms. Kajal said the solar panel weighing around 300 g has been fixed on the shoulder. “Wires run through the jacket to the pocket where mobiles can be charged. There will be no discomfort for the person who wears the jacket,” she said.   

Seawater to pure water   

Even with all of the water in Earth’s oceans, we satisfy less than half a percent of human water needs with desalinated water. We currently use on the order of 960 cubic miles (4,000 cubic kilometers) of fresh water a year, and overall there’s enough water to go around. There is increasing regional scarcity, though. So why don’t we desalinate more to alleviate shortages and growing water conflicts?   

The problem is that the desalination of water requires a lot of energy. Salt dissolves very easily in water, forming strong chemical bonds, and those bonds are difficult to break. Energy and the technology to desalinate water are both expensive, and this means that desalinating water can be pretty costly. The students from BVBCET have a solution to this problem.   

Praveen Kumar Huded and S. Rakesh from BVBCET, Hubballi, have exhibited a model of a multistage solar distillation process for converting seawater to pure water.

“We have seen only single-stage distillation in countries like the UAE. We have gone for two stages,” he said. While a rectangular glass container stocking saltwater was heated using solar power, the other glass container placed above was allowed to heat in the sunlight. “The vapors are gathered in a separate container, which will be pure water,” Mr. Huded said.   

Among the other projects that generate interest was the model of “Low-cost and efficient magnetically leviated wind turbines” designed by students of Hirasugar Institute of Technology, Nidasoshi.

The R.V. College of Engineering students displayed an eco-friendly mosquito coil made by using coconut husk, corn cob, and plants such as rosemary and citronella. As many as 57 teams have exhibited their projects. Around 320 students made a presentation of their projects in the seminar. (Source: The Hindu)

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