By Liu Jianwei, Li Qingtong and Chen Feiqiong
BEIJING, Nov. 16 -- Recently, the correspondent walks into a new-type self-powered thermal insulation cabin in a border defense company under the PLA Xinjiang Military Command. Developed by the PLA Army Engineering University, the thermal insulation device is mainly designed for troops stationed in plateau and alpine regions with inconvenient transportation and insufficient logistics support.
Though icy and snowy outside, the indoor temperature is still in a comfortable range. Service members wear shirts or short-sleeved physical training suits. As Cheng Linqi, commander of the company, explains, the cabin does not rely on the air conditioning or furnace. Instead, its heating system is powered by solar energy.
"This is our heat source," Cheng says, pointing to a row of solar houses beside the cabin. During the day, the solar houses stores energy, and the solar energy equipment on the roof collects the heat. It heats the room if the cabin’s windows next to the solar house are open. In this way, energy self-sufficiency and recycling is realized, without diesel or electricity, and thus reducing the dependence on long-distance fuel distribution. After repeated tests, the thermal insulation materials of the device help keep indoor temperature higher than 15°C in a cold weather of -40°C outdoors.
At this time, thermometers show that the outdoor temperature is -15°C and the indoor temperature is 19°C.
The new thermal insulation cabin consists of seven modules, namely dormitories, canteens, bathrooms, dry self-cleaning toilets, warehouses, micro grids and heating equipment.
"The outfits can be combined at will," Cheng shows the video of how they assembled the cabin a few days ago. No large machinery was used, only by hands, just like magic.
"Because the new materials are lightweight and they are all modularized with integrated steel tenon structures. Just like building blocks, everyone is able to build it by himself. It's really convenient," says Master Sergeant Class Four Zhang Xingzhen, who has disassembled and assembled the cabins for several times. Furthermore, the structure and layout of the cabin are modular and alterable, with more than 90 percent of its parts reusable. Once the service members are going to move, the outfits can be packed up and taken away .
Besides these, the design about the toilet is even more amazing. The use of toilets has been a persistent problem for border defense duty and field training in plateau and alpine regions. The new thermal insulation cabin uses biodegradable dry self-cleaning toilets and the traditional water flushing method is replaced by biological flora decomposition technology. Not only will it be blocked by freezing, it does not require routine maintenance and has no peculiar smell.
It is learnt that such self-powered dismountable thermal insulation cabins have been equipped and used in a few outposts in plateau and alpine areas in the past two years and have withstood the cold winter test.