Hybrid Solar Water Heating System for Harsh Winters

Work on developing a new solar water heating system that can function in harsh environments, is under progress intended for Gilgit Baltistan.

Scientists from North Dakota State University, Fargo, are working along with the scientists of COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan, to develop a new solar water heating system that can operate in difficult climates.

This new project, planned by both universities, will include development of an environment- friendly heating and cooling system intended for people living in the backward area of Gilgit-Baltistan, situated in northern Pakistan. Since wind chill and low winter temperatures in the Gilgit-Baltistan region prevent utilization of current solar energy technology, the researchers from both universities have planned to design a solar technology that can function in harsh environments.

Samee U. Khan and Sumathy Krishnan are heading the NDSU group in the project, while Waqar H. Bokhari and Nasrullah Khan Kalair are leading the scheme for COMSATS Institute of Information Technology. They are working together to generate solar energy effectively by utilizing carbon dioxide as its functioning fluid as well as a direct-expansion heat pump for effective and sustained operation. One of the goals of this project is to form a prototype costing below $300 that will be tested over the next two winters in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Pakistan-U.S. Science and Technology Cooperation Program, created in 2005, awarded a two-year grant to COMSAT and NDSU research teams to carry out the project. The COMSAT and NDSU collaboration is part of the program developed by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Department of State, Ministry of Science and Technology of the Government of Pakistan and the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.

Kelly Robbins, director of the Pakistan-U.S. Science and Technology program at the National Academies, said that this was one of 25 projects chosen from 270 proposals for the program. http://www.azocleantech.com/, Nov. 11, 2011