Thursday, 5 July 2012

3 Biggest Solar Cookers in the World

Solar steam cooking system is clean, efficient and hygienic, especially when food is cooked for large numbers of people.Here's the top three biggest or largest installations of solar cookers in the world.

Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh

Tirupati Temple is not just one of Hinduism's holiest shrines, but also one of the richest.It has an annual income of $340m - mostly from donations.Between 50-100,000 people visit this temple every day.

Inside the temple complex, a large multi-storey building is dedicated to just one thing - cooking free meals for pilgrims.Several cooks work in tandem stirring large pots of rice, curry and vegetables. Nearly 50,000 kilos of rice along with lentils are cooked here every day.Located on the roof of this building are rows of solar dishes that automatically move with the angle of the sun, capturing the strong sunlight.Then the energy is used to convert water into high pressure steam, which cooks the food in the kitchen below.

Generating over 4,000kgs of steam a day at 180º C, this makes the cooking faster and cheaper. As a result, an average of 500 litres of diesel fuel is saved each day.

Sri Sai Baba Sansthan, Shirdi, Maharashtra

The 73 parabolic antennas mounted atop the roof of the kitchen complex of Sri Sai Baba Sansthan in Shirdi constitute the world’s largest solar steam system.The solar cooking system cooks 20,000 meals a day.The solar steam cooking system is comprised of 73 rooftop-mounted reflective dishes of 16 square meters each. The dishes concentrate sunlight on receivers that contain water, generating steam that is piped down to the kitchen for cooking purposes. To maintain constant focus with the sun, the dishes automatically rotate throughout the day after being manually aligned once each morning.

Brahma Kumaris, Shantivan, Abu Road, Rajasthan

The Brahmakumari’s Vishwa Vidhyalaya is an International Spiritual Education Institution, recognized by the UNO under class 1 status operating with its headquarters at Mount Abu, Rajasthan. The world’s first largest solar steam cooking system is installed at their headquarters, Shantivan Complex, Abu Road, where more than 15,000 people daily visit, stay and have meals. BKWSU has done pioneering work in solar energy and sustainable energy, including developing the world's largest solar cooker.

The system comprises 84 improved parabolic concentrators, shell type receivers and large diameter header pipes which serve the dual purpose of treated water storage as well as steam reservoirs.

Installation was completed in January 1998 and the system, through all six of its modules, can generate 3,500 kg of steam per day, which is used for cooking, water sterilization and preparing hot drinks. Although originally designed to cater for 20,000 meals per day, during periods of peak solar radiation the system's output has been sufficient to cook a maximum of 38,500 meals per day. Supported and approved by the MNES, the system attracts considerable attention and was described in a BBC World Service TV programme as the largest solar cooker in the world

Quantum of fuel saved through the use of the solar cooker (via sgnsolar.com)

Monthly and Year No. of Days System Operated No. of Hours System Operated Quantum of Fuel
Saved Diesel (lts)
September 2002 30 240 8436
October 2002 31 224 6722
November 2002 30 268 7856
December 2002 31 209 6543
January 2003 31 254 7588
February 2003 28 192 5846
March 2003 31 278 8364
April 2003 30 158 4620
May 2003 31 132 3933
June 2003 30 153 4835
Solar cookers have worked like magic. You can use it to bake, roast, boil, cook and dry things. What more, solar cooking gives you an opportunity to show your love for Nature. Surprisingly, India has taken a lead in this area !!

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