Product Division

There is 1 Product Division in the 2023-24 challenge. Teams are required to develop a tested prototype for their product solution.

Residential Cooling Retrofit

All new construction that is not built as climate resilient or net-zero presents a huge challenge for India’s climate goals and needs to be addressed through retrofit of existing buildings. About 80% of India’s existing building stock will continue to be residential buildings, where cooling needs attention because of the potential exposure to heat stress, and growth in space cooling energy and related carbon emissions. 

The Residential Cooling Retrofit is a challenge to ‘make’ solutions that improve cooling performance in existing residential buildings, where the solution could be implemented by the resident with minimal assistance from a technician, such as an electrician or a carpenter. Teams can develop solutions in a range of domains, including building envelope, dynamic shading, passive cooling techniques, active cooling, appliances, and smart controls. Solutions can also overlap across these domains. Solutions are expected to be original, unique, creative, innovative, feasible, functional, and of good quality.

For this Division, the following requirements apply:

  1. The solution should demonstrate reduction in cooling (thermal) load, or reduction in energy consumption for cooling.
  2. The solution should apply to an existing residential space. There is no restriction on the size and typology of the residence. 
  3. The solution should be developed as a product, that a resident may be able to buy-off-the-shelf. 
  4. The solution should be easy to install with minimal assistance from a technician. 
  5. The result should be a tested prototype.

Evaluation Contests

Cooling Performance

This contest evaluates the solution’s effectiveness for cooling performance. Solutions that aim to only reduce cooling energy through equipment should demonstrate the amount of energy reduced compared to a baseline case. Solutions that aim to reduce discomfort hours and heat stress should demonstrate the reduction in cooling (thermal) load compared to a baseline case. Performance should be demonstrated through measurements during the testing of a prototype.


This contest evaluates the solution’s ability to provide other benefits to the users. Co-benefits add value to the product or solution by going beyond the core performance-related issue, often solving other problems experienced by the users. Teams should conduct user research and identify problems to address them into the proposed solution, thus providing co-benefits beyond the core performance-related issue. Co-benefits can include but are not limited to, improved health, well-being, flexibility of use, integration with other building components, and product lifecycle. Teams should conduct user surveys, studies, or measurements, to corroborate that the solution is able to provide the expected co-benefits.

Target Market Size

This contest evaluates the quantification of the potential market for the product.  A larger market size typically translates into potential for wider adoption, increased accessibility and affordability, and potential for a larger impact. Teams should evaluate and quantify the market size for their product for a wider target of users, peripheral use-cases, national or international regions with similar climatic conditions. 

User Desirability

This contest evaluates the desirability of the product from the perspective of end-users. A great product or solution will not be adopted by the users unless the product is also desired by them. Factors such as user-friendliness, aesthetic appeal, and user satisfaction count towards user desirability. Team should corroborate these through user surveys.

Ease of Installation

This contest evaluates the simplicity and convenience of installing the proposed solution. Users should be able to install and operate the product or solution with minimal assistance, or as a completely DIY installation. Teams should prepare an installation and operation guide that shows the ease of installation. 

Technical Feasibility

This contest evaluates the use of materials, components, and their availability, along with the potential for scalability of the processes involved to make the product. Sound engineering of the product for robust performance in the conditions of use is needed. If appropriate, teams should demonstrate the compatibility of the product with the infrastructure available in existing buildings.

Financial feasibility

This contest evaluates the financial feasibility of the solution. It includes the price, maintenance cost, and operation cost, at a minimum. Teams should estimate the price of their product based on at-scale production costs, overheads, and profits.  The price, maintenance and operation costs should be compared with an appropriate alternative to demonstrate financial feasibility to the target market.


This contest evaluates the novelty of the solution in its ability to bring new materials, techniques, technologies, algorithms, methods, etc. to address the problem. Novelty is likely to result in intellectual property created within the solution. New products will be considered novel, but a new way of using existing products may not be considered novel, unless teams are able to show significant value-add through techniques, algorithms, and methods while using existing products.

Go-to-market Strategy

This contest evaluates the team’s approach to developing a business. It includes the marketing plan, the team, and the Industry Partners’ commitment. A strong marketing plan explains the competitors, the beachhead market, a pricing strategy, and marketing channels. A diverse team gives confidence to investors. Committed Industry Partner/s help the team achieve its potential. Teams should include ideas or arrangements for protecting or sharing intellectual property or licensing products and services. The go-to-market strategy should be written for a potential investor.

Value Proposition

This contest evaluates the team’s ability to convey a compelling value proposition to both investors and end users. The value proposition should estimate the total environmental impact, such as the emissions resulting from adoption of the solution by the target market. A value proposition goes beyond a simple ROI calculation, to summarise select achievements in the other nine contests. It should be clear and succinct, including tangible and intangible benefits to the end users, to convince them to choose the product. It should build a strong narrative that enables an investor to see the potential success of the solution.