IIT Roorkee’s PhD Scholar’s study links solar energy and space heating with help of heat pump during Winters

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Roorkee: Working onSolar-Assisted Ground Source Heat Pump System for Space Heating Application, Vikas Verma who was motivated to take up research work that attempts to replace the electric heaters operated by high grade energy in North India for space heating during the winter season. He completed his PhD work in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, IIT Roorkee, in 2017 and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Energy, Tezpur University, Tezpur, Assam.

This is one of the areas of research as part of an MoU between IIT Roorkee and Geo-environmental Research Centre, headed by Professor H. R. Thomas in Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK.

Expressing happiness on his PhD student’s work, Prof. Krishnan Murugesan, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, IIT Roorkee, said “This research is an attempt to replace the electric heaters operated by high grade energy used widely in the cold regions of northern part of India for space heating during winter season. This is one of my areas of research too as part of an MoU between IIT Roorkee and Geo environmental Research Centre, headed by Professor H. R. Thomas in Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK.”

Speaking about this research project, Professor H. R. Thomas – Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK said, “I am also very pleased to see that our collaboration with Prof K Murugesan has yielded this excellent result. We are pleased to be working actively with IIT Roorkee in these important research areas.”

Dr. Vikas Verma fabricated and established a SAGSHP (Solar Assisted Ground Source Heat Pump) system in Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering – MIED, IIT Roorkee, to carry out experiments during the winter season. The most interesting part of the research was that they demonstrated that the solar energy available during the winter season could be used effectively for space heating with the help of a heat pump as solar energy is a very lean form of energy.

Speaking about his experiences, Dr. Vikas Verma said, “As a student from the Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Department, I am deeply honoured to bring more attention to my department’s constant research efforts. I am working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Energy, Tezpur University, Tezpur, Assam and feel that my research done during my IIT Roorkee days has a lot of societal impact.”

Also, the solar energy available in the day time could be stored under the ground and can be used for space heating in the night time. In his dissertation work, it was estimated that SAGSHP requires only 25 percent of the electricity used in the electric heaters to produce the same heat energy.

The payback period for this unit is only 7 years. Thus, solar energy can be tapped to charge heaters during winters in areas facing harsh climate conditions, providing medical aid at high altitudes, army base camps and homeless shelters shall all benefit alike as India is abundant with solar energy and this is in line with the Government of India’s push towards National Solar Mission.

Dr. Vikas Verma an Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee PhD Scholar was among the few Indian Research Scholars who has been selected to participate in 3rd BRICS Young Scientist Conclave held in South Africa during 25th to 29th June 2018 based on his research for Solar-Assisted Ground Source Heat Pump System for Space Heating Application, an idea that won this project a ticket to the prestigious forum to showcase by proving what are the alternate methods in which India can access its solar energy and convert it to reduce CO2 emissions