Third World Tomorrow

Some Half baked ideas, with the intention of trying to enhance the standard of living of the third world without the American-style gas guzzling. Prosperity will only be a consequence of efficiency. The developing world has limited resources. They must be used to the fullest. We explore exciting possibilities - in not just energy technologies, but any other technologies that help us use our extremely scarce resources better.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Cheap Comfort Conditioning


It is impossible to imagine any enhacement in the standard of living of the masses in the third world without a corresponding enhancement in the accessibility of personal comfort conditioning technologies. Currently, intolerable excesses in temperatures are just "borne out" by residents of the third world, for energy prices are way too high for any air conditioning of any sort.

Since most of the third world is tropical, it is ample enough to design for extreme heat and humidity. The need of the hour is an air cooling/conditioning system that is economical to purchase and run. To many, that would be the holy grail of air-conditioning. Such a device would sell phenomenally well in India, for one, where middle class incomes are on the increase, as are electricity prices.


The average middle class room in India is 3m x 4m x 3m. The average bed in would be 1.5m x 2m in area. Suppose, we consider a mosquito net 1m in height above the bed - the volume of the air within the net (on top of the bed) would be 3 cubic meters. The amount of air in the room would be 36cubic meters.

Suppose an air conditioning system were designed to be effective just within the mosquito net. The compressor could be housed in a unit outside the mosquito net. We note that the electricity consumption is potentially twelve times lesser than a full fledged air conditioner for the room. And also, the initial cost in not expected to be much either - the compressor is expected to be of a lower rating - lower than that of a refrigerator too! And the compressor unit need not be housed outside the house: it can just be within the house like a refrigerator.

A refrigerator cools a slightly lower volume to a lower temperature. The power consumption of this device, I am confident will be slightly lesser than that of an average refrigerator.

And what is more, this device can be run on solar cells, should their cost ever become comparable to fossil fuel based electricity. (150 W is not much). Of course, a solar VARS system could be envisioned, but that would be messy and would need a solar collector interchanging fluids with the air conditioner.

A cheaper alternative could be the cool blanket, described here.


  • At 10:33 AM, Blogger Akhilesh said…

    The air conditioner could come equipped with an electronic wattmeter, which tells accurately, the kilo-watt hours that the device has consumed (for the last month, during the last run and so on).

    A conversion of kwh to Rupees can also be displayed on the same.

    If the product ever becomes widely accepted commerically, then a wireless broadcast system can be designed - such that the current electricity rates, time and other data can be recieved by the unit, for accurate power consumption details.

  • At 3:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


  • At 6:52 AM, Blogger Akhilesh said…

    Who is anon.?

  • At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    what crap!! in essence, u want to put a refrigerator on the bed and sleep inside that! go shoot yourself for getting a foolish idea like this.. and wasting somebody else's time...

  • At 2:15 PM, Blogger Akhilesh said…

    Anon: I would greatly appreciate it if you corroborated your rhetoric with some technical reasons. It might need a slight shift in perception of what one would expect from an air conditioner; it might need an open mind.

    I do not expect to sell it to well to do people who can afford large air conditioners. I want to sell it to the poor: to the people who can neither afford the initial nor running costs. To the middle class people who find it hard to balance their monthly budget with an A/C in their bed rooms.

    There is huge demand out there. This has a maket as large as there is for color TVs - my gut tells me.

    Do you contend it is lying?

  • At 11:55 PM, Blogger Dr. Katte's Blog said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 12:14 AM, Anonymous Dr.Katte said…

    Any taker for this AC should not mind being bedridden or living in a bunker, if he wants to enjoy the AC during daytime (when he is not sleeping).
    At the same time, if there are takers for TATA sub10k AC (less than 1 ton capacity), there will be takers for this AC too. People who live in asbestos sheeted and congested houses will be interested in this. And the number of such people is considerable. You have reasons to smile. Is it possible to get it patented?
    The AC will heat the rest of the room, unless the hot air is thrown outside. This has to be considered in the design.
    BTW, can you post all the science / technical posts in one blog, instead of three blogs? Linking will be easy for us.

    It appears my profile does't show anything as I switched to blogger beta. Will try to correct. Anyway my blog is at

  • At 7:55 AM, Blogger Akhilesh said…

    The AC would heat the rest of the room: that's for sure. But I'm guessing the AC would not be heating the room more than the refrigerator heats the kitchen. After all, any fan and the lamp also heat the room....I cannot be so sure about the wattage of this thing without some calculations... whether it will need some sort of heat transfer equipment outside a window...
    I will try to be more coherent when it comes to categorizing blogs ...
    Ideally, I wouldn't want to patent this idea ... I just want it out in the pubic domain so that manufacturers can price it cheaper without worrying about royalties. Is that way too much faith in human nature? Then, maybe I should try to publish it ...

  • At 12:29 AM, Blogger anilkumar said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.


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