Cost-effective solution to Global Warming
Renowned publishing house Elsevier is publishing Energy Saving Coating Materials-Design, Process, Implementation and Recent Developments (1st Edition), a book edited by Dr Goutam Kumar Dalapati, Associate Professor, Department of Physics, SRM University- AP and Dr Mohit Sharma, Scientist, A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research), Singapore. The book is about their collaborative research on Thermal Management with the application of coating materials.
Dr Dalapati, Editor of the book
Countries in tropical and temperate belts such as India, Australia, Middle Eastern and African countries receive most of the sunlight. The heat generation is naturally high in these countries. Studies show that the usage of air-conditioner is also very high in these countries to maintain the desired comfort in both home and office spaces. “Air-conditioners need a huge amount of electricity to be operational. Statistics says, globally, out of hundred units of electricity, almost 35-40 units are used for air-conditioning for either heating or cooling purposes. It also has other drawbacks as it generates air-pollutants which aid in global warming. Our Study in the lab of A*STAR shows that even a one-degree change in the air-conditioner’s temperature settings can save a significant amount of electricity. In our study, we have focused on ways of passive cooling, i.e. how the indoor comfort can be maintained without electricity.” Dr Dalapati said.
Dr Dalapati’s book is about developing new materials and process which can effectively reduce temperature inside the buildings. With a vision of having zero-emission buildings in the future, this book focuses on materials, interactions of these materials with sunlight, and then how these materials can be used productively to reduce the temperature in a building, minimising the thermal budget. His team has proposed different type of materials along with different type of techniques. One of those innovative techniques is, Solar Smart Film, which he has a patent for. When applied on the glass, Solar Smart Film is an effective coating material to block the infra-red radiation, which causes the heat, and it allows the visible light only. When applied on concrete, the coating (cool paint) reduces the heat there too. This smart film can reduce the increment of temperature from 2 to 10 degrees centigrade. The usual product available in the market is silver based, hence highly priced. Dr Dalapati’s team has replaced silver-based products with alternative materials like copper or copper-like materials which are cheap in cost, environmentally stable, non-toxic and can be found easily. The process to develop low cost solar films is also explained in his book.
When asked how the idea of publishing a book came to his mind, Dr Dalapati replied, “At first, we published a 100-page article on a similar topic in Progress in Materials Science, a reputed International Review Journal with an Impact Factor of 23.72. Later we thought of publishing a book because whereas an article’s reach is limited within the researchers only, through a book many more people will come to know about our research and its impact on the well-being of the society. It will help in creating a general awareness among common people as well as young minds like high school and college students will be provided with opportunities for brain-storming.”
Dr Dalapati is currently busy in making his product commercially available. He is also developing apparatus for human applications, which will protect the body from thermal heat waves in summer. A patent application has been filed to the Government of India in this regard. In the Future, he also plans to publish further editions of this book where more complex problems will be discussed.