Final semester students of the Electricals and Electronics Department in the PDA College of Engineering have come out a Photovoltaic-based thermoelectric air conditioner, which can work as a refrigerator as well a microwave oven.
Bhavana, G.M. Supriya, Geeta and Shivasharanappa, under the guidance of Ravi Yalwarkar, who have worked on this model as part of their final semester project told The Hindu although the theory was available on thermoelectric air conditioners, it was for the first time that a working model has been configured.
They said that it would revolutionise kitchens and added that this unit was powered by solar panels and an accompanying battery bank.
The students said that the refrigeration was based on the Peltier effect, which did not require any compressor, expansion valves, absorbers, condensers or solution pumps.
Moreover, the new device was environment-friendly and did not require working fluids or moving parts and uses electrons rather than refrigerants as a heat carrier.
The students claimed that thermoelectric refrigeration devices are useful in medical applications, electronic applications and scientific equipment where a high precision temperature control oils were essential. This new device works entirely by non conventional energy sources through photovoltaic cells.
Another advantage, according to the students, was that since the module was compact in size, the refrigeration or heating system can be designed according to users requirements.
Prof. Yalwarkar said that both the refrigerator and the heater could be used at a time based on the availability of power in the battery bank.
Another advantage is that the user has to depend only on solar energy, which is available in abundance, to run the unit.