Active Solar Heating in Ladakh

Ladakh, India

People of Ladakh are exposed for more than seven months a year to sub-zero temperatures. Using traditional heating (e.g., Bukharis) and conventional heating (coal, kerosene etc.) are expensive and also cause noxious and polluting emissions. The active solar heating technology is a big advantage as the system can be built and installed with locally available materials and resources. The solar air-heating system is enhanced by integrating it to thermal energy storage and insulation of the houses. Solar panels are installed on the rooftop of the house, and an additional layer of insulation is added to conserve heat loss from the walls and roofs of a heated room. This technology is a huge benefit to high-altitude regions, such as Ladakh – offering sustainable solutions for energy demand in Ladakh and regions with cold climates.

Background of Project

Winter in Ladakh lasts for over seven months and, the expensive nature and the high cost of transportation of fossil fuels push the Ladakhi’s to utilize wood-burning stoves to keep themselves warm during the harsh winters, where temperatures drop to as low as – 28 °C. The demand and consumption of energy for heating has risen significantly in the region.

The Project

The active solar heating technology is built and installed in Ladakh with our implementation partner. The solar air-heating system with an additional layer of insulation to the building is added to conserve heat loss from the walls and roof of a heated room. Training to disseminate technical and analytical knowledge is a part of the process to facilitate local entrepreneurship and ownership of the initiative.

The Benefits

First and foremost, the program replaces emission heavy wood-cookstoves with solar thermal systems; this also offers a high saving potential of fossil fuels that has been hardly used so far in this region. The program is also important as the project envisions creating employment and sustainable development of local markets. The indoor air quality is significantly addressed and leads to much better living conditions.