Solar-powered tent to protect Indian Army under sub-zero temperatures

Sonam Wangchuk— a Ladakh-based engineer has built a portable, solar-powered military tent for the Indian Army at the Galwan Valley. This tent has the potential to accommodate 10 cops and is fully portable with the weight of the tent is said to be less than 30 kilos.

This tent could sustain even under sub-zero temperatures such as minus 14 degrees Celsius while pointing out that it was carbon neutral, replacing kerosene and tackling pollution, said Wangchuk.

Its usage would avoid a huge quantity of kerosene being used; also it would be lesser pollution in the Himalayan regions which would be the biggest advantage of this tent, said Wangchuk.

“Indian army burns down around 1 lakh kilograms of fuel to generate heat in Ladakh which generates more than 3 lakh metric tonnes of CO2 in the atmosphere. This solar tent would provide enough warmth to the army personnels and would take care of their needs in the areas on no roofs,” added Wangchuk.

In the next few months, a new Aluminum version will be launched. The fabricators cost the tent around 5 lakh. It is still economic rather than the iron tents currently used by the military, which cost the army, nearly 9 lakhs per unit.

About the Tent:

  • The front end of the tent is called the Greenhouse section, which uses solar energy to be heated
  • The tent is not more than 30 kgs in weight.
  • The tent is specifically made portable keeping in mind the mountain tops and heights the soldiers have to walk.
  • The rear end has a sleeping chamber in which the soldiers can sleep during the nights
  • The tent has a covering of a wind cheater on it to guard it from cold wind during winters.
  • There is also a solar lounge on the front which is heated during the day and the soldiers can find sitting arrangements in it. However, at night this area would not be warm.
  • The solar tent requires sun rays to enter from the South to heat the walls built in the front chamber. This wall is made of polycarbonate which does not allow the solar rays to exit the chamber.
  • The sleeping chamber is surrounded by an insulator too so that the heat does not leave the tent.
  • The sleeping chamber is situated in the north of the tent. It is surrounded by insulator bags like those in sleeping bags.
  • The round structure of the tent reduces the surface area and prevents loss of heat from it.

Sonam Wanghchuk

Sonam Wangchuk was born on September 1, 1966; is an Indian engineer, innovator, and education reformist. He is the founding director of the Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL), which was founded in 1988 by a group of students who had been in his own words, the ‘victims’ of an alien education system foisted on Ladakh.

He is also known for designing the SECMOL campus that runs on solar energy and uses no fossil fuels for cooking, lighting or heating.

Wangchuk was instrumental in the launch of Operation New Hope in 1994, a collaboration of government, village communities and civil society to bring reforms in the government school system.

He invented the Ice Stupa technique that creates artificial glaciers, used for storing winter water in form of a conical-shaped ice heap.

Following tensions between India and China, the Ladakh-based educational reformer had appealed and asked Indians to boycott all Chinese companies.

In a tweet, he asked people to boycott all Chinese products to stop Beijing’s “bullying” in Ladakh and liberate 1.4 billion bonded labourers in the country.


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