The solar tent is a special type of tent in which the tent holds energy generated from the sunlight as a heat source during nighttime. This tent does not use solar cells or plated for energy generation neither battery. It is totally Eco friendly.


There are many types of weather on our earth such as cold, summer, rain and changing areas likewise. But we also have to change ourselves according to the changing circumstances. Whether it is cold, summer, rain, or any other weather, we have to work hard to protect ourselves. Similarly, the people of cold or where the snow falls, have to live in a tent made of clothes to protect themselves. Which cannot keep you warm for long. An Indian innovator, engineer, and educationalist Sonam Wangchuk has solved this problem. Sonam Wangchuk is also called “Phunsuk Wangdu” of reality, inspired by which the film “3 Idiots” was made in 2009.

solar tent
solar tent

Inspiration source

 The accident which inspired him most is the conflict between India and China. In this critical situation, both countries posted their 50,000 soldiers at the border. Many families lost their son. When soldiers live in such harsh conditions in containers and tents, they burn fossil fuels like kerosene in large amounts to get heat. This contributes to air pollution and the amount of co2 in the atmosphere which leads to climatic change and the greenhouse effect. In areas like Ladakh, glaciers started melting in large amounts.


Sonam Wangchuk invented this solar tent at HYAL. HYAL stands for Himalaya Institute of Alternative Ladakh. HYAL is an Alternative University. At HYAL many research projects are conducted to improve the lifestyle of people living in the mountains and how to use the native resources to improve quality of life. Hence they invested many years in developing the solar-heated tents. Sonam Wangchuk invented this tent 15 years ago. They tried this on the shepherds. Because shepherds do not reside in a single place.

sonam wangchuk
sonam wangchuk

How passive solar heated tent works?

The tent is divided into two parts. one section is white in color and another one is black. The white part acts as a greenhouse chamber or solar lounge. Through this, the sunlight enters inside the tent. This section remains warm during the daytime but not at night. Here soldiers can do their work like cleaning weapons and etc.


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How does the tent remain warm?

There are three ways. The first part is the white cover which allows sunrays to enter inside the tent. 2nd one is the wall between the two sections. The wall acts as a power bank and stores the heat for the night. This wall is made by using a transparent layer of polycarbonate. This wall allows sunlight to enter inside but heat can’t go outside.  Water and some other materials are used for trapping heat.

The 3rd section is the sleeping chamber or northern chamber or a black section. This section doesn’t allow sunlight to enter inside but block the heat stored inside the wall from going outside. This section is covered with multiple thick layers of insulating materials, which can be used according to the degree of temperature. The temperature inside the tent varies from +(10 to 15 )°C. This is enough temperature because at any time soldiers may need to go outside at -30°C for the fight. At that time they can easily tolerate this sudden temperature variation.

Ex:- The outside temperature is -40°C and then the tent will have a temperature around 15°C.


Specifications of Solar tent

Portable:- This tent is portable like others. When the tent is dissembled, it divides into 30-40 parts.

Weight:- The weight of each part is not more than 30 Kg.

Price:- This tent is available for around 5 lakh rupees. When you compare this tent with other alternatives like iron containers. The area of this tent is double the container and half of the iron containers.

Heat source:- Only this tent is capable of providing heat at night when compared with other alternatives.

Sonam Wangchuk says ” If this tent would have manufactured in any Research Centre it must have cost from 50 lakh to 1 crore. This is fully sponsored by me and it is a gift to an Indian Government by me.

Bottom Line

This is a very good invention by Sonam Wangchuk. If you find someone who is developing new technology please help him and if required support him economically. This invention will save the soldiers and mountaineers in critical situation.

By Pravin

I'm an engineering student...

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