Published: 05th November 2021
Going green at COP26: This iron box made by Tamil Nadu teenager Vinisha Umashankar runs on solar power. How cool is that?
She has now taken her innovation to the UN COP26 in Glasgow and received a standing ovation for her speech
She was just 15 when Vinisha Umashankar was awarded the prestigious Children's Climate Prize for 2021. Her innovation? A solar powered ironing cart. How cool is that! She found the inspiration from a desire to replace the charcoal-based cast-iron boxes used by a couple who ironed Vinisha's family's clothes in Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu. The drive in Vinisha to create something that would make the couple's lives better and the world a bit greener is what led her to creating this useful item.
But what greater honour than to be asked by Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge himself to talk on clean energy as part of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow. In her speech, which received a standing ovation, she said "Young people have every reason to be angry and frustrated at leaders who have made empty promises and failed to deliver. None of what we discuss today is practical for me. We need actions rather than promises to live in a habitable world."
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Her School Principal S Prathiba Shyam lauds her time management skills to do both, her studies and extracurricular activities. The mobile ironing cart has solar panels on its roof that is connected to a 100Ah battery. A 12 volt 100 Ah battery needs about 1,200 watts of power to be fully charged. The solar panels produce 250 watts of power per hour. On a full charge, that takes about five hours of sunlight, the box runs for six hours.