Ant Studio's Eco-friendly Air Cooler is an Eco-Innovative Brilliance
The history of Indians and pottery goes way back. It was the Indus Valley Civilization that led to the beginning of Indian pottery.
Our forefathers have been indulging in this form of craft although today, the market is dominated by other alternatives. Plasticware, glassware, are now considered to be much more convenient.
Having said that, there are still many households not only in the villages but also in the cities, who have kept the traditions alive. The technological advancement didn’t stop Indians from storing water in a Matka (earthen pot).
Despite having a refrigerator, Indians still prefer the Matka!
The Matkas have been in use for water storage since ancient times. It’s a well-known fact that they have natural cooling properties.
A tradition similar to this was also practiced in the middle east. The knowledge that evaporating water cools the air dates back a long time, to the Ancient Egyptians. And Ant Studio’s eco-friendly air cooler stems exactly from this phenomenon.
Set in New Delhi, the founder – Monish Siripurapu, and his team is a group of intellectuals working in tune with Architecture, Nature, and Technology.
Ant Studio has designed multiple infrastructures using computational technologies. And, this eco air cooling installation was one such by-product.
Monish’s team chose the technique of evaporative cooling, and the eco-friendly air cooler came into being. As the structural design was inspired by that of a beehive, they named it as, CoolAnt Beehive – Biomimetic Cooler and Air Purifier.
This Beehive with around 800 terracotta cones was constructed for the DEKI Electronics factory, Noida to combat the high temperatures of heat radiated by their generator set up.
What's Impressive is..
The installation makes use of sustainable pieces of equipment. The structure is designed using terracotta cones, locally available eco-friendly materials, reusable stainless steel, and utilizes recycled water.
Terracotta is a clay-based earthenware. It’s made with natural clay and is thus a Green material.
The Beehive is not only ecologically efficient but also economically convenient. It calls for low maintenance, makes use of the cheap and durable steel, thereby making it an affordable investment.
Ant Studio sources the cones from Dinesh Kumar, a local potter from the Uttam Nagar of West Delhi. The team gives Dinesh the design of the required size and shape. Dinesh then with his pottery, crafts the building blocks of the Beehive.
The cherry on the cake is that since the installation is made using sustainable elements, it does not give out harmful emissions or plastic waste. Plus, the energy used by this eco-friendly air cooler is about 1/3rd of that used by a regular air conditioner.
How does this Eco-friendly Air Cooler Work?
The area around the installation consists of hot air coming from the Genset. When the recycled water from the factory is made to run down the cones, the hot air tends to evaporate that water.
Due to this evaporation, the temperature of the hot air passing through the cones drops. This happens because of the evaporative cooling principle.
Also, the cylindrical terracotta cones that it comprises of, allow maximum cooling effect due to the large surface area.
It was observed that the temperature of the hot air with 55-degrees Celsius, when passed through the installation dropped to 36-degrees celsius. Thus proving it’s effective functionality.
Such a low-tech, eco-friendly air cooler is yet to be engineered for household purposes.
The Studio says, “The installation can also be converted into a zero-energy prototype which would require manual pouring of water over the pots once or twice a day. This can be done in areas where there is shortage of power supply, but it is not an ideal solution.“
For now, the installation is efficient for combating the heat stress around open spaces, like the heavy generators.
The studio has built this CoolAnt Beehive at multiple places according to the requirements.
With climate change taking momentum, eco-creative developments like these are the need of the hour. We need more green architects like Monish Siripurapu. We need engineers who believe technological advancement can complement global interest. And tackling climate change is a Global interest even though our leaders are ignorant about it.
In an interview with Eco India, Monish said,
“The whole idea is how can we enhance upon the methods that already existed and use the current ways to improve upon the systems that are there. We have a rich culture and heritage that talks about beautiful systems and methods that have been successfully implemented. We are not short of technology, we are not short of materials, we are not short of labor, and the machines. So it’s only about the mindset.”
Isn’t Monish’s ideology to correlate our heritage and modern technology impressive?