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IT Bombay  Team Shunya to participate at Solar Decathlon, China; Exclusive interview with NYOOOZ

IT Bombay Team Shunya to participate at Solar Decathlon, China; Exclusive interview with NYOOOZ

Summary:

Team Shunya from IIT Bombay has been chosen to participate in Solar Decathlon 2018 to be held in Dezhou, China with its ‘Project Solarise; a solar-powered sustainable house for the upper middle class’. In an exclusive interview, NYOOOZ brings you the journey of Team Shunya so far.


India is a net importer of energy. Technological advancement has further accelerated the demand for energy causing not only a negative trade balance but a havoc on mother earth. Even with major impetus given by The Prime Minister Narendra Modi to harness solar energy, manufacturing domestic solar equipment’s  and now the new draw,  establishment of model solar cities where the power needs are fulfilled solely by solar energy, in-house innovation in this field is limited.

Team Shunya is a bunch of passionate young engineering and architecture students from IIT Bombay who is inclined towards making living better with solar-powered sustainable housing for the middle class. The team will soon participate in Solar Decathlon 2018 to be held in Dezhou, China. It is the only team from India to have selected in Solar Decathlon, 2018 which will be held in Dezhou, China.

In an exclusive interview with NYOOOZ, Ruturaj Sambhus, Project Manager of Team SHUNYA takes us through his journey so far.

What made you venture on this idea? What was the driving force?

            Team SHUNYA is a group of young professional students from IIT Bombay from various educational backgrounds working towards a common goal of building a net positive energy house for a sustainable future. The present-day scenario of depleting natural resources has resulted in an escapable need of transiting to greener resources and conversation of energy in all walks of life.      

Is Team SHUNYA working on some other solar projects as well?

            Team SHUNYA is currently working on ‘Project Solarise’ only, that being the immediate focus for representing our country in an international competition ‘Solar Decathlon 2018’ to be held in China next year. Project Solarise’ of Team SHUNYA showcases a solar-powered G+1 floor Villa of 2000 square feet area for a family of six people which is using an unconventional innovative HVAC system, is completely automated and is to be built using hybrid construction. Our previous project in 2014 was ‘Project H Naught’ which got "Honourable mention in Sustainability" in Solar Decathlon Europe.

How long did it take you to plan the project and for its completion?

1.5 years (Project H Naught)

2 years (Project Solarise)

 How did you fetch the funding for SHUNYA?

           Team SHUNYA is a huge project with a budget of nearly 4 crores and we have a sponsorship group in the team which works actively to get sponsors for our event. Apart from the construction of the house, the team is also engaging in awareness activities to promote sustainable construction in India. These include a website, social media platforms, lectures, workshops, and active participation in various conferences.

The team utilizes all their investments for designing technologies and are in need for more assistance from companies as they need immediate support to start building a new house in IIT Bombay campus and to attend the final event in China in 2018. The team is looking towards industry to provide financial assistance to successfully accomplish its mission.

What were the hurdles involved in convincing IIT to proceed with the project?

         IIT Bombay is recognized worldwide as a leader in the field of engineering education and research and has always promoted technology and innovations. Our Institute is very positive about our project and is giving us good support since the inception of the team. In addition to student team, SHUNYA is also backed by a strong team of faculty advisors headed by Prof. Rangan Banerjee and they have all been investing a lot of time and effort for the success of the project.

How are you planning to present your project to the commercial world?

            Team SHUNYA aims to achieve a commercial end to end solutions for energy efficient housing by bringing together various industries working on different sectors of energy efficiency on a single platform. The net positive energy house will not only redefine the luxury standards but also spread awareness about energy conservation and renewable energy production.

Project Solarise has been designed keeping the local conditions of the city of Amravati (Pseudo capital of Andhra Pradesh) as the datum. With the Government’s push towards Smart City Missions and Make in India concepts, our project will be an end to end commercial solution for growing energy demands from renewable sector.

You have also been a part of Solar Decathlon Europe 2014. Tell us about your prior experience and what are the challenges of being a part of an international competition?

            We are a group of exuberant students and impelling Professors who work hard against all the odds to elevate India‘s renewable aspirations. But it’s not all a bed of roses. We need a lot of funds as the projected cost of the project is around Rs 3.5 crores and it is a huge amount of investment for a student team project. For the team, it’s a unique learning platform through challenging and we are receiving international exposure and scope for more and more innovation.

We have proper management structure dividing tasks and responsibilities between each and every one of us. Each individual with their assigned tasks and duties is responsible for the development of this project, so we even out the pressure. The work we do is related to our curriculum as well, so we see this as an opportunity to mould our technical expertise. With proper time management and structural division of work, we do remarkably well as a team.

  Words of wisdom for student researchers.

            “The earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs but not every man’s greed,” said Mahatma Gandhiji. The use of energy-efficient building constructions and renewable energy based applications in the present day scenario for our daily household has become the man’s need and no more a man’s greedWith depleting natural resources, it has become the need of the hour and responsibility to transit towards greener resources and ensures a sustainable living for the better future for all.

With depleting natural resources, it has become the need of the hour and responsibility to transit towards greener resources and ensures a sustainable living for the better future for all.

 


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