Low-cost heating device does away with power or other fuel; works on water

Indian scientists have developed a low-cost Powerless Heating System that can be activated with water to heat food

In a bid to reduce use of electricity in daily necessities, a new low-cost heating system has been developed by Indian scientists. Significant about the low-cost heating system is that it can be activated with plain water anytime anywhere. The system does not require any fuel or electricity to heat or power it.

The new device comes as an answer to people in remote locations, especially in remote areas in the North East. Lack of heating sources at remote places with no access or uncertain access to power sources is an inconvenience faced by many.  The low-cost heating system has been developed by a team led by Dr. Sumer Singh, Associate Professor, Department of Design, IIT Delhi. Christened ‘Powerless Heating Technology’, the low-cost heating device works on chemical energy.

Going into the active heating element are a mixture of eco-friendly minerals and salts. These generates exothermic energy, which in turn generates heat on contact with water. This provides enough energy to raise the temperature of any food or beverage by 60 to 70 degree Celsius.

Low-cost device is eco-friendly

All of 50 grams in weight, the device, after every heating, produces a natural mineral rock as by-product inside the heating pad, which can be disposed of. The rock helps in improving the fertility of the soil and is 100 percent biodegradable, a science and technology ministry statement said. 

The low-cost device is expected to help users to heat ready-to-eat food, make instant noodles, and hot beverages like tea and coffee. The North East Center for Technology Application and Reach (NECTAR), an autonomous body under the Department of Science Technology, has also supported Dr. Singh and his team to develop a food box and a liquid container that can be integrated with the Powerless Heating Technology. They have used it to develop containers which can heat food and beverages on demand.

Technology to aid military personnel, tourists in remote locations

It is being seen that these devices will come of great use to military personnel, tourists, and office-goers in the North East. The Powerless Heating Technology eliminates the need for burning forest wood for heating purposes, thus also reducing forest fires, which is a major problem in the North­ Eastern parts of the country. The prototypes were successfully developed and tested. Several FMCG companies are keen to launch it in the market, the ministry added.

Further, Anchiale Technologies, a Gurgaon-based start-up, is scaling up this technology and has started supplying it to the Indian Navy and some food manufacturing companies. A patent for the technology has been filed. A nondisclosure agreement (NDA) has been signed with the Indian Tobacco Company (ITC) for integration of this technology in their food products.

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