The winner of Children’s Climate Prize 2022: 17-year old Sparsh from India with his innovation The Thermal Floater

Among hundreds of nominations from all over the word, the jury selected five finalists and finally one winner of the Children’s Climate Prize – Sparsh, 17 years old from Patna, India. Sparsh is awarded for his innovation The Thermal Floater, which converts thermal energy from the sun into electrical energy. An invention that is highly relevant in a world where the need for green energy is huge. – I may be biased, but I think my idea is revolutionary, says a smiling Sparsh. 

Jury motivation:

The ongoing discussions on renewable energy sources, soaring energy prices and growing electricity demand makes Sparsh’s innovation much needed. With the Thermal Floater, Sparsh has an impressive way to mitigate climate change by using thermal energy. Also, the whole idea of a floating device is great and innovative, making use of water surfaces, such as dam reservoirs, wastewater treatment ponds or drinking water reservoirs and thus reducing pressure on land resources. This solution is easy to implement and very accessible, thus it creates a huge potential globally for both households and for countries where land resources are scarce. 

Sparsh, 17 years old from Patna is from the rural side of India where power outages are regularly recurring, often 2-3 hours per day. When there is a shortage of coal, power outages can last as long as 6-8 hours per day. One day, one of Sparsh’s family members fainted during a blackout, because they had no way of cooling during the extreme heat in India. With a sense of frustration, Sparsh wanted to do something about it and find a solution to the problem. After much research, however, he realized that existing solutions are often inefficient, expensive, unavailable, or require very large areas of space.

– I wanted to find a solution that takes up little space, is cheap and efficient, but I understood that I had to figure it out myself. So after 1.5 years of research, testing and experimentation I have now arrived at this design and am ready to take the next step with The Thermal Floater, says Sparsh.

The winner of the Children’s Climate Prize receives a diploma, a medal and prize money of SEK 100,000 from the Children’s Climate Foundation to develop their project. When Sparsh received the news that he is the winner of the Children’s Climate Prize 2022, it was 3 a.m. in India and he was doing his homework. He screamed out loud with joy and even woke up some of his fellow students.

– This came as a surprise, but it feels great to win the Children’s Climate Prize, finally I can show my idea to the whole world. I see this as an opportunity to make people aware of the problems with today’s renewable energy solutions and how new innovations have the opportunity to create improvement for both society and future generations. I may be biased, but I think my idea is revolutionary, says Sparsh, smiling.

Within a 5-10 year period, Sparsh sees himself working to produce and sell these modules, but also to develop more innovations in the green energy sector to help change the world for the better. To other young people who want to act but don’t know how, Sparsh advises them to start looking for information on the internet.

– When I started, I had no idea how any of this works, but I started to read research papers, books and learn all the different concepts on my own, apart from my school studies. So if you have an idea, don’t just sit around and think about it, try to develop it. If it doesn’t work, you will gain a lot of experience and then succeed better next time.

About The Thermal Floater

The Thermal Floater is a device that efficiently converts thermal energy from the sun into

electrical energy. Sparsh’s floating invention can easily be installed on any inland or stagnant water bodies, thus it doesn’t require any dedicated land resources. The module is just 15 cm by 15 cm and can easily be connected to several units to generate even more energy. In an array of modules, the system can generate electricity up to 10 kWh per day, which is 3x more efficient than a typical solar panel of the same size. Apart from converting thermal energy, the modules also contribute to other environmental benefits, such as reducing evaporation (increasing water availability for other uses), as well as reducing algal bloom in freshwater.