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Today’s increasingly urbanized world means we are confronted with a rise in domestic energy consumption levels. Ordinarily, this means an increase in carbon emissions but Team SHUNYA is seeking to defy conventional logic by constructing energy-efficient residences. On Friday, the team held a thanksgiving ceremony of Project Solarise at Victor Menezes Convention Centre which was followed by the inauguration of its new Net-Positive Energy house by Prof. Devang Khakhar, the Director of IIT Bombay.

Consisting of 65 students and advised by 9 professors, Team SHUNYA represents the institute in the Solar Decathlon and is the only team from the country to take part in the competition. An initiative by the US Department of Energy, the event consists of 10 contests that challenge student teams to design and build full-size, solar-powered houses. Having previously participated in the 2014 edition of the Europe chapter, Team SHUNYA is all set to compete with 22 other teams in China this July.

The thanksgiving ceremony on Friday began with a short video by the team that highlighted the 18-month long journey of the students working on the project. They also highlighted the various additions and improvisations that had been made to improve the efficiency of the house without compromising on comfort. The new two-storeyed house is more than double the area of the previous one and is designed to accommodate 6 people. It also boasts of cutting-edge technologies like modular wiring, smart lighting, and energy monitoring enabled by Internet-of-Things (IoT). A new challenge that the team faced was to power an electric vehicle that would fulfill the commuting needs of the passengers.

The team presentation was followed by a short speech by Prof. Khakhar, in which he highlighted the importance of building energy-efficient residences. He lauded the students for applying their technical skills in various stages of planning and execution of the project. The audience was also”>”>dresses.html”>”>dressed by Prof Rangan Banerjee, the faculty advisor for Team Shunya and HoD of the Department of Energy Science and Engineering. He lamented the lack of awareness about green architecture in India which has led to difficulties in fundraising, creating roadblocks. However, he was happy that they overcame these hiccups and successfully constructed the house. The program ended with the felicitation of all the professors who advised the team members through the course of this project and sponsors who gave wings to the students’ dreams.

The action then moved to the project site where Prof Khakhar cut the ribbon and formally inaugurated the house. This was followed by a guided tour of the house for all the assembled dignitaries.

The way ahead

The team will soon dismantle the house and start shipping the parts to Dezhou, the city where the competition will be held. A group of 30+ students from the team will be flying to China where they shall reassemble the house within 20 days for the final evaluation by the judges.

Insight wishes Team SHUNYA all the very best!

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