Miri’s All-Girls Team Help Cool Homes with Rainwater
Sep 24, 2021
Kuala Lumpur – The determination of three girls from SMK Lutong in Miri, Sarawak to find solutions in cooling down the high temperature in homes to make studying more conducive proved fruitful when they emerged winners of the Shell NXplorers Grand Finals Malaysia, last year. Today, their invention has received international acknowledgement and their story is now featured on Shell’s global NXplorers website.
The weather in Miri is hot and rainy. Temperatures typically range from 24°C to 31°C, while rainfall can reach 12 inches - the result is hot and humid conditions indoors and out. These conditions make climate control solutions vital to everyday life. Using the NXthinking tools which they learnt from the NXplorers workshop provided by Shell, Anisha Praveen Karunakaran, Daphne Douglas and Liew Jia Wen looked at alternatives to air conditioning units which require a reliable electricity supply and are expensive to run. To improve conditions for Malaysians who live in rural settings without access to reliable electricity, the girls had to rethink the systems.
Their research propelled these girls to reimagine evaporating rainwater as a cooling system, providing rural homes with a way to keep cool without relying on unstable power supplies and expensive equipment. Their prototype called Chillax is an affordable, innovative and eco-friendly alternative to air-conditioning units. Capitalising on the evaporative cooling effect, the solution consists of an automated sprinkler system supported by rainwater, solar panel, temperature sensor and water pump as well as a mobile app to monitor and control the entire system.
Besides creating a cooler environment at home which enables people to work and most importantly, students to concentrate and study comfortably despite the oppressive heat, this project helped the students to see that they could create affordable climate management solutions that produce no waste. Their invention also contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and helps improve the social mobility for communities that would otherwise struggle to create productive learning environments for their students.
Shell’s NXplorers challenges school students to work in teams to design and innovate solutions to real-world problems within the nexus of energy-food-water. For further information on Shell’s NXplorers, log on to www.shell.com.my.
Chillax, the prototype
Close up of the prototype
From left_Liew Jia Wen, Daphne Douglas and Anisha Praveen Karunakaran with their invention
The girls working on their invention
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