My Favourite appliance

In class XI, we were taught thermodynamics and I came across Carnot engine. Sadi Carnot devised this engine in 1824 which is several years before the laws of thermodynamics were formally laid down. Theoretically Carnot engine can achieve efficiency of 1 which is highest possible efficiency. My curiosity was touched and I made up my mind to build a Carnot engine. Although I didn’t made any success in this direction, my quest of finding an efficient heat engine started from this time. This is when my admiration for a pressure cooker reached new heights and it became my favourite appliance.

The pressure cooker is a heat engine. While it has been across my sight since childhood, I was able to appreciate its working when I became aware of the principle behind it after reading thermodynamics. The basic principle behind the working of a pressure cooker is the variable of pressure and temperature. Water that is used for cooking food, boils at 100 Degree Celsius at normal atmospheric pressure. However, in a cooker, the pressure is above atmospheric pressure due to which the boiling point of water increases. Thus water boils at a higher temperature and more energy is transferred to the food being cooked. I found a very simple explanation of the working on YouTube in the following video by Seema Rodge.


What amazes me is the simplicity of principle behind this appliance which causes huge saving of energy at the individual as well as global scale. When the world is reeling under the wrath of climate change, we should pause and appreciate the usefulness of simple appliances such as pressure cooker in decreasing en energy consumption. Although Carnot engine remains a theoretical model, research should strive to achieve higher efficiency in heat engines too. People can be made aware and we can push greater adoption of such appliances which saves energy such as pressure cooker.

Since the day I came to know about the usefulness of Pressure cooker, I have always talked about it with my friends and elders. So that’s my favourite appliance. Please tell me about your favourite appliance in the comments section. Cheers.




Celebrating Earth Hour every day

So it’s been 2 weeks since I had synced my daily schedule with Sunrise and Sunset. My main aim was to ensure I utilize daylight to the maximum extent. I’m a student, hence by utilization I mean devoting daylight to study and keeping things like meeting friends, talking on the phone etc. etc. to be done after the sunset. This resolution of mine to sync my schedule with Sunlight has the origin in a set of thoughts major and minor. These thoughts are discussed in the following paragraphs.

To start with, waking up in the early morning is a cherished experience on its own. The sun just coming up, spreading its light, sound of birds, cool breeze –there is a strange and fantastic sense of charm in the atmosphere in these early hours. The benefits of waking up early have not been denied by any literature or people since ages.

But for me, the prime push was my growing awareness about global warming, climate change and how decreasing energy use can mitigate such a crisis. This thought came to my mind when I understood reasons behind the adoption of daylight savings by countries away from the equator. Last year, Argentina changed its standard time so as to ensure daylight is not wasted. Such conscious effort by an entire nation inspired me to take initiative towards saving daylight hours and using it in the most efficient way as a daily exercise.

The latest push was on March 25th. On 25th March 2017, Earth Hour was celebrated. An article in Business Standard stated that around 237 MW of energy was saved in Delhi alone. Given the timing i.e. 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm and urban nature of Delhi, such massive reduction on electricity is obvious. That got me thinking – how about we celebrate Earth Day every day? And I came to know that yes it is possible and very simple to do so. Night time is when apart from other activities, lighting contributes to high energy demand and utilization. So I synced my schedule with daylight hours, I went to sleep early. This resulted in switching off the lights in my room 4 hours prior to what I used to do earlier. Isn’t that what Earth Day is about- saving energy by switching off lights?

A bit of internet research suggested that for 1MW electricity, 4000 tons of coal is burned per annum. Such huge amount of burning of coal drastically impair the atmospheric gaseous composition and result in a range of adverse climate and environment damage which is referred as Climate Change. If 1 hour of Earth Hour resulted in savings of 237 MW in Delhi region only, just imagine the amount of savings we, collectively will achieve if we go to bed a little early. I’m telling you the amount of energy saved will be enormous and subsequent coal burned will be reduced by millions of tons.

So my dear friends, let us pledge that we will save energy by utilizing daylight to the maximum extent. You will agree that such an effort will be a great contribution towards saving Mother Nature who gives us everything, without asking anything in return. Let’s decide Earth Hour is not an annual event and reducing carbon footprint is a daily habit.

So Happy Earth Hour day!!!!