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A `cool' Colonel

A former Army officer has devised an innovative `heat sink' to keep homes cool and reduce power bills



Colonel J.J. Singh explains the technique — Photo: Mohd. Yousuf

COLONEL J.J. SINGH'S faced bullets and bombshells and come out with his sense of humour and bones intact. A former paratrooper, he's seen action in four wars. But this time, the Colonel is on a more benign mission.

"With summer around, the electricity bills are bound to burn holes in pockets. However, a few changes to the dιcor in your house can really bring down temperatures and help save quite a bit of money through reduced power usage," he says emphatically. After five years of pushing his grey cells, Singh finally came up with an innovative `heat sink' that he claims will keep a home cool at 25-28 degrees while the mercury levels outside push 40.

An avid golfer, he got the idea while playing his favourite game in the hot sun. "I used to head for the shade of the trees on the course to cool down. That's what gave me the idea. I thought if the green canopy of trees can protect me from the sun, the same should work for my house," he explains.

Working on his brainwave, he bought nylon meshes used in greenhouses to protect plants from direct sunlight, and devised the heat sink through a trial and error method. Singh discovered that a huge canopy in his porch on the eastern side shielded his house from much of the solar energy. The noon rays hitting the terrace were taken care of by a coat of lime mixed with glue. He then mounted more of the `cool' meshes, sealed by Velcro tapes to ventilators and windows. The result? "I just turn one air cooler on for about five minutes and it cools the house quickly. After that I turn it off and that's it. My house remains cool and I don't even need to turn on a single fan for the rest of the day. Even the fridge works on lesser power due to the temperature dip," reveals Singh, adding that he now saves "over Rs. 1000 a month".

Thinking ahead, Singh believes that his technology ("patented to keep it from falling into the hands of MNCs") can hugely benefit his countrymen. "I hope heat sinks will be used on a massive scale in our country. If I can save Rs 1000, think of how much electricity and money can be saved if 300 million homes use the technology," he says, eyes shining with enthusiasm. Anyone heard that?

K. SACHIDANAND MENON

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