Experiments that do not follow the basic principles of science are unlikely to yield desired results
Cars wrapped in cow dung have been spotted earlier also. However, this is probably the first time it is being seen in Pune, and first time a Maruti Omni. While the city is not exactly counted among the hottest locations in the country, temperatures have certainly increased over the years. Old-timers say that several decades earlier, Pune homes didn’t even have ceiling fans.
As the concrete jungle continues to get denser, people in Pune have started to feel the heat. This explains the presence of a Maruti Omni wrapped in cow dung. It seems the owner believes that the cow dung wrapping can help cool down his van. However, it may not actually turn out that way.
How cow dung cools?
Cow dung works on the principle of thermal insulation. Traditionally, it was applied to the walls and floors of homes. The walls of these homes were made of mud, while the roof was either a thatched unit or utilized clay tiles. Adding a layer of cow dung on the walls worked to reduce the transfer of heat. The thick mud walls also acted as thermal insulation.
Adding a layer of cow dung on the floor helped achieve a smooth finish and remove dust. It made it easier to clean the surface, as compared to cleaning a rough mud surface. In summers, the cow-dung wrapped floor can be lightly sprinkled with water to keep things cool.
Can cow dung cool cars?
However, such benefits are unlikely to be there when the cow dung is used on a car. As is evident in the images, the front section of the Omni van is completely wrapped in cow dung. This will trap the engine heat inside instead of having the desired cooling effect.
External body panels may have lower temperatures, as cow dung will reduce heat from direct sunlight. It is possible that a cow dung wrapped car will get less heated in the sun, as compared to a car that has its entire metal skin exposed to the sun.
However, it has not been measured if the trapped engine heat will nullify all the possible cooling provided by the cow dung wrapping. Until results are properly quantified with use of scientific tools, it is difficult to say if cow dung can cool a car. Even if it does, exactly how many degrees cooler does it get inside a cow dung wrapped car?
Earlier also, there have been other cases where people have tried to do seemingly genius experiments. Last year, a Tata Nexon EV was spotted with a large windmill on the roof. The idea was to generate electricity as the car moved forward. Here too, the user lacked the basic understanding of science, which is aerodynamic drag. It would probably take more power to push this car forward than what the windmill may be generating.
While such ideas and experiments seem interesting, they are unlikely to have any tangible benefits. We hope we get to report something truly brilliant one day that actually has the potential to benefit humanity and transform this world.