Five bright sparks of Shishu Griha have a model for computer monitors to save power, cut emissions

While most Class 8 and 9 students are busy cramming or gaming, a group of five teens has taken it upon itself to do its bit for the environment.

Five students from Shishu Griha Montessori and High School, New Thippasandra, have a simple mantra to share on World Environment Day — optimise brightness levels of computer monitors to save power, which would in turn reduce the carbon emissions.

Famous five

The team — comprising Sanjana Rao, Sharanya Srinivasan, Akarsh K. Bhagavath, Rahul Anand and Srivatsan Raveendran — after completing their experiment in the school lab, has made presentations at several information technology (IT) companies, including biggies such as Infosys, MindTree as well as the state-owned Power Company of Karnataka Ltd.

Recollecting how their small project evolved, Srivatsan said: “It all started in school with an energy audit. We found that the computer lab in school consumes most energy. So we had several brainstorming sessions in the lab. Initially, we tried to put the computers on sleep mode. But it saved very little energy.”

Later, they found that using the computer at the optimum brightness level, which is 15 to 30 percentage in each LCD monitors, can reduce power drawn by three to five watts per computer.

Akarsh explained: “An organisation with 50,000 computers can save as much as 1,200 units of electricity a day, which can light 20 homes for a month.” Backing it with facts, he added that for every kilowatt hour of energy saved, 0.9 kg of carbon dioxide emission is reduced. His teammates Rahul, Akarsh and Srivatsan joined in saying every watt counts. “Saving energy will help reduce carbon footprints on earth and help save the green cover of our planet.”

When asked why they chose to experiment with computers, Rahul said: “Computers are one of the most widely used [machines]. This is a simple method that is also easily reproducible and helps save a substantial amount of power.”

Their project has been shortlisted by Volvo Adventure and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as one of the eight to represent India in the finals of the Volvo Adventure International Conference on Environment Education, scheduled to be held in Sweden this month.

The team has ensured that everything is in place and is hoping to make the cut at Sweden. From testimonials of IT bigwigs, to a survey conducted by them in school and a doctor’s certification that decreasing brightness would reduce headache at work, they are armed with everything to make sure no stone is left unturned. Their website, Facebook page, Twitter accounts and YouTube videos also showcase their meetings and their awards, which includes the ‘gold certificate award’ given by the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom).

Tips from the top

Akarsh recalls how interacting with CEOs, executives and technology heads was a “great learning experience” as they received inputs from them, which is reflected in their presentation. Suryanarayan Rao S.R., their mentor said: “We are pleased with the response. I have seen that older people are generally more enthusiastic and open to ideas when they come from children.”

Not only are the students prepared to sell their current idea, but these savvy young citizens cookies have also chalked out their future plans.

“We will initiate research on reducing brightness in television sets and cinema theatres,” said Rahul. Taking off from there, Srivatsan added: “This is not a project. It is our mission to towards a greener earth.”

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