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Smart & Frugal Living

Ideas and solutions for improving living standards while conserving resources for those with and without options.
by Praveen Baratam
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Have you ever lived under a roof directly exposed to the summer sun? In the tropics it is a very common problem irrespective of the season! The debilitating heat radiates through the roof and homes feel like ovens! The utility bills skyrocket from air-conditioning if you can afford it or you just have to bear through the heat waiting for the rains!

Currently, many paint their roofs white to reflect some of the incident heat and tame the situation but this is not as effective as you might assume. Some even erect additional and relatively cheaper asbestos roofs to cover their primary roofs but asbestos heats up eventually and transfers the heat down through convection!

I believe this problem has a smart and frugal solutional! Why is sitting under a tree much better than sitting under an RCC or asbestos roof directly exposed to the sun? Trees and plants have optimized their form and function for direct sunlight and cool themselves through evaporative mechanisms thereby reducing the heat transferred down!

Now, how can we use this to our advantage? Simple! Erect few poles and set up a supportive mesh on your roof for growing a vine/creeper on it! The humble vine will eventually cover the entire area of the mesh and afford shade to your roof. This approach when adopted widely can also help reduce pollution in our cities and make them greener and cooler! :-)
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Many across the world cannot afford air-conditioning simply because of the relatively high electricity consumption by these appliances. In the developing world the utility bills for a home with and without air-conditioning is nearly 5x the latter. This problem is even worse in the hot and humid tropics. Can we do something about this and bestow them with at least a good night sleep?

The problem is multi-pronged and not just about the efficiency of these appliances. Homes are often poorly built to properly insulate the interior from the hot and humid exterior. Brick walls, leaky windows, unclad floors, etc. increase the cooling / heating burden on these machines leading to high utility bills. Even moderately well-off households from the developing world shy away from these comforts that are considered essential across the developed world.

While air-conditioning a home/room is considered ideal, I propose a frugal yet smart solution for a good night sleep - An air-conditioned bed capsule. Inspired from the mosquito netted beds (commonly seen in the tropics) that help keep the insects away while sleeping, I thought, why not just air-condition the space inside such an envelop.

Low power consumption, well insulated, cozy, personal and above all cheap to build and use.
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Air-conditioned Capsule Bed
 
 
2 Comments
 
Shailendra Engineer, Contributor - 3 years ago Edit
Hi, Liked your idea, Can we communicate over this???? We can jointly do something about it.
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 3 years ago Edit
@Shailendra - Great! Glad that the idea is garnering interest from prospective suitors and developers. But I am afraid I cant join you guys in developing this further as I am the founder of Talkonomy and I need to focus all my energies and time on this. We can definitely work out some form of licensing if you want to proceed further. You can contact me from this page - http://about.me/praveen.baratam
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