India's 2010 TR35: Top Innovators Under 35
Kranthi Kiran Vistakula, 29
Dhama Apparel Innovations
A technology that can exchange heat as required.
The 2009 was a great year for the Ahmedabad-based Dhama Apparel Innovations which was selected as one of the top 100 technology companies in Asia and top 200 technology companies in the world by Red Herring magazine in the U.S. Dhama Apparel Innovations was just a year old then. Kranthi Kiran Vistakula, a postgraduate in Mechanical Engineering and Technology Policy Program from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, founded the company in 2008.
For Vistakula, Dhama Apparel was a medium to market his many inventions. His recent innovation, called ClimaCon, is a unique technology, which when used in a jacket, can provide comfort to the user in temperatures ranging from -30°C to +50°C by maintaining the body temperature of the user between 18-40°C. According to Vistakula, The jacket weighs 650-700 grams and is probably the lightest apparel in the world.
Vistakula's technology can even be applied to other apparels as well as areas such as infant incubators and cooling large spaces such as auditoriums. "While pursuing my Masters at MIT, I found the process of putting on and taking off additional layers of clothing in winter very cumbersome. To overcome this inconvenience, I started working on developing a jacket with the capacity to both heat and cool. I put the Peltier effect into application for achieving this purpose. But soon I realized that a new technology would have to be developed to make the jacket lightweight and to both heat and cool. I had to work on developing a new heat exchanger or heat sink in order to keep the jacket light. After three years' worth of effort and experimentation, the weight of the jacket stands at just 650 grams, almost equivalent to the weight of a regular pair of jeans," reflects Vistakula.
"The heat exchanger was designed to make use of the breakage of hydrogen bonds for the dissipation of heat rather than the conventional methods of using a fan or cooled liquid for heat removal. A hydrogen bond self-recharging nanomaterial was used to work in extreme conditions. The jacket can be worn and carried around like a normal jacket with up to eight hours of performance on a single charge of batteries. It can also be cleaned and cared for like normal jackets," he explains. "Dhama's products are more efficient and light weight as compared to its competitors like Texas cool vest, Arctic heat, and Frisby technologies.
Dhama's product team is also working closely with the army to develop a solution for heating/cooling the missiles which will increase the performance and reduce various tangible and intangible costs incurred by the army," says Harshal Shah, CEO of Reliance Technology Ventures Limited, who is one of the investors of Dhama Apparel Innovations.
"Vistakula is easily one of the brightest young innovators I have come across. I truly believe that he is amongst a new breed of Indian entrepreneurs who will take the country up to the next level in the innovation ladder," says Sasha Mirchandani from BRV Ventures, who is also on the Board of Directors of Dhama Apparel Innovations.