Engineers and investigators at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP) have created a climatized biodome that could warm up living conditions for Peru’s southern residents. Functioning off of solar energy, the low-impact invention may solve housing problems for people in notoriously cold regions like the Puno department.
“The dome consists of two parts: the first part is to isolate us from the climate so that the exterior temperature doesn’t at all influence the interior temperature,” Ronald Más, an investigator at PUCP, told Andina news agency in a published video. “The second part is just to guarantee a zone of comfort inside the biodome, and is powered by solar panels.”
A prototype was erected in Mazocruz, which is a notoriously cold region in Peru that sometimes sees temperatures dip to minus-20 degrees Celsius. But a heating system used with water made through solar energy assures that the inside of the dome is more than comfortable for human inhabitants.
“Because it’s higher up in altitude, it attracts a very good amount of solar radiation,” Más said. “The system that closes to climatize the area with thermal and electric power. The thermal part acts as a collector that accumulates the solar energy and transfers it as a liquid to a holding tank so that the internal air can be heated.”
Más added that this guarantees a temperature inside the dome of anywhere from 20 to 35 degrees Celsius.
The dome can hold up to 10 people at a time.
An initial investment cost to build the dome and its high-tech energy system was valued at 440,000 soles (or around $135,500 USD). At the 46th International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva this past April, the biodome won the silver prize in the category of Climatization, Healthy Homes, and Renewable Energies.
See the whole video courtesy of Andina here below in Spanish: