Thursday, January 15, 2015: (Bhayander): The Bhayander based NGO, Keshav Srushti, in a bid to spread awareness on solar cooking, will be gathering students from 500 schools across Mumbai to cook solar-powered dishes. Keshav Srushti has been accredited by the Guinness Book of World Records for having conducted the largest solar oven cooking class in January 2014 with 3,639 participants from 62 schools. Invigorated by the success, the NGO has announced an annual Maha Suryakumbh on January 15, 2015. This coming workshop is aiming to reach 25,000, and possibly even more, school students. More information…
Most significant solar cooking projects
- January 2013: World’s largest solar cooking class takes place in India – On January 19, 2013, middle school students gathered on the grounds of JES College in Jalna, India to be trained in the use of a simple solar panel cooker. After a quick breakfast, and guidance from 205 trainers, a record-breaking 2,044 students assembled their own solar cooker and placed prepared ingredients inside to cook. After speaker presentations, they were able to enjoy the lunch they had cooked themselves. This event, sponsored by Simplified Technology for Life, demonstrates that India is quite serious about introducing solar cooking to young students. Ajay Chandak reports that included in the Indian government’s five-year plan for 2012 through 2016, 30,000 million INR (approx. $600,000,000USD) is budgeted for solar cooking instruction in 500,000 schools.
- April 2010: Gadhia Solar Energy Systems Pvt. Ltd. recently completed installation of an enormous solar steam cooking system, capable of cooking 40,000-50,000 meals per day. It is located at Shirdi Saibaba temple in Shirdi, Maharashtra, India. With nearly 30,000 visitors each day, the temple’s dining halls are some of the largest in India. The solar steam cooking system is comprised of seventy-three rooftop-mounted Scheffler reflectors of sixteen 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. The solar steam cooking system is retrofitted to existing liquid petroleum gas-powered steam boilers that are still used in the evening and during prolonged periods of inclement weather. Though the solar steam cooking system cost nearly $300,000, government subsidies reduced the temple’s portion to about $170,000. Liquid petroleum gas use has been cut by roughly 100,000 kilograms each year, for an annual savings of approximately $45,000. The temple should recoup its investment in three to four years. According to company founder Deepak Gadhia, the solar steam cooking technology was originally developed in Germany. However, the equipment does not contain imported components and is manufactured with local machinery and labor, creating much-needed jobs. Gadhia has adapted the system for use in India, and has installed 50 such systems of varying sizes over the past two decades. The March edition of CNN’s Eco Solutions program highlights the Shirdi Saibaba temple solar steam cooking system.
- See other Most significant solar cooking projects worldwide.
News and Recent DevelopmentsEdit
- September 2014: Bhubaneswar: The state government will provide solar chullahs to 500 households inside Satkosia Wildlife Sanctuary. This was done to reduce load on firewood, which the villagers collect from the sanctuary. There are around 5,000 households in the reserve, but initially 10% will be provided with the solar cooking device. The panchayati raj and forest departments will jointly conduct survey to identify the families to be given the chullah. A private party will donate the chullahs to the forest department. – Read more… – Times of India
- August 2014: International solar cooking expert, Ajay Chandak, has written about the recent installation of steam generating solar cooking systems at The Akshardham Temple located in New Delhi and at the Ram Krishna Mission Student’s Home, Mylapore, Chennai. The Akshardham Temple system is now able to serve 2,000 – 3,000 meals on a clear sunny day, saving approximately 30 to 50 scm of PNG each day in operation. MNRE has partly funded this installation and Clique Solar has manufactured and installed the system. The system at the Ram Krishna Mission Student’s Home as been adapted with the ability to store the excess heat generated mid-day to be able to cook very early in the day and after sunset. Read his reports: ARUN®100 Installation at Akshardham Temple, New Delhi and ARUN®100 with Thermal Storage at Ramkrishna Mission, Chennai – Ajay Chandak
- August 2014: A Bhayander based NGO, Keshav Srushti, in a bid to spread awareness on solar cooking, will be gathering students from 500 schools across Mumbai to cook solar-powered dishes. Keshav Srushti has been accredited by the Guinness Book of World Records for having conducted the largest solar oven cooking class in January 2014 with 3639 participants from 62 schools. Invigorated by the success, the NGO has announced an annual Maha Suryakumbh on January 15, 2015, is aiming to reach 25,000 schools students. More information…
- April 2014:
- March 2014: Rural schools receive solar cooking sysytems – Ajay Chandak wants to update the solar cooking community that a Scheffler Community Kitchen has been installed and tested at the Aapla Ghar school for homeless rural children located in Naldurg, India. After cooking their first meal on this solar system the students and management were more than happy. He brings particular attention and notice of appreciation to the local M.P. Dr. Ashok Ganguly, who arranged financing of the project through their M.P fund, contributing $23,000 USD to the project. Also, another Scheffler system is to be opened soon at an orphanage located in Dhule
- February 2014: The Jawahar Navodiya Vidyalya school is saving $23,000 in annual fuel costs – The residential school Jawahar Navodiya Vidyalya located in Ladakh, Indiaappreciates having their solar cooking system, which is saving them $23,000 USD in annual fuel costs. More than 570 students and staff members are served daily meals. “It is not only very easy to operate, but it provides us [with] hot water for washing the dishes in the cold season,” says Tashi, one of the kitchen staff. The arid desert region is known as the “land of high passes”. Previously, remote areas like this one have had to rely on kerosene and firewood for heating and cooking, and considerable money was being spent simply getting kerosene delivered. Read more… – Asia Times Online
- January 2014: School in North Coimbatore begins solar cooking mid-day meals Two PRINCE – 40 institutional parabolic solar cookers will soon be cooking noon meals for students at a school in North Coimbatore. Each PRINCE unit (designed by Professor Ajay Chandak) costs 68,000 Indian rupees ($1,000 USD) and includes a 35-liter (32 quart) pressure cooker. The first two units will be used on a test basis. If successful, the municipality will order PRINCE cookers for all sixteen schools in the region. The Indian National Ministry of New and Renewable Energy provides a sixty percent subsidy for the solar cookers, which will cut expenses by reducing the consumption of LPG and wood. On December 9, 2013 Professor Ajay Chandak, a global leader in the solar thermal cooking sector, was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES). Chandak will represent “Solar Heating and Cooling”. ISES is a UN-accredited NGO that is active in over 110 countries.
- January 2014: India raises the bar for the world’s largest solar cooking class – “As many as 3,484 children from over 80 schools participated in the largest solar cooking initiative Suryakumbh on January 4th, which has qualified as an entry to the Guinness Book of World Records. The emergence of renewable sources of energy as an answer to the imminent exhaustion of conventional energy sources pushed a Bhayander NGO, Keshav Srushti, to start with the most influential members of society, children.” – dna The class was held in Mumbai, India. Read more…
- December 2013: Government sponsored solar cooking systems installed in Jaipur – Two state run hostels for girls in Jaipur, India, have installed Scheffler Community Kitchen solar cooking systems to meet the cooking needs for 600 students. Each system has four dishes of 16 square meters and will help conserve 4,500 kgs of liquefied cooking gas (LPG) annually assuming about 275 normal sunny days. It is estimated the pay back will be less than 4 years and reduce the financial burden to the state government. Read more…
- November 2013: GloboSol introduces solar cooking technology and bio-mass stoves in Madhya Pradesh, India – Alec Gagneux, ofGloboSol, spent several months at one of the Ekta Parishad ashrams in the city of Katni in central India last spring. He demonstrated the value of using the simple technologies of solar cooking, solar food drying and bio-mass stoves. With the help of local craftspeople, the group assembled their own food dryers and solar cookers. During his stay, Alec met local residents who were willing to organize more demonstrations at local schools, intended to help draw the attention of local political leaders. Read more at:Report India 2013
- November 2013: Solar cooking receives a new platform to speak from – The second edition of Sun Focus, a quarterly magazine devoted to concentrated solar heat has just been released. The new publication from India was founded by Dr Farooq Addullah. He explains that the magazine will focus on off-grid applications of concentrated solar technologies (CSTs) for the purpose of saving fuel oil, firewood, and LPG in industrial and commercial establishments using heat between 80 °C and 250 °C. Solar cooking plays a major role in the content. This latest edition’s cover article is devoted to the latest developments of the Scheffler Community Kitchen, written by noted solar cooking designer and advocate for solar cooking education in public schools, Ajay Chandak. Read his article on page 11. Scheffler Solar Concentrators in India – Sun Focus
- October 2013: The Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency reports that Haryana is one of the few states in the country where solar cookers are being promoted by providing subsidy on box/dish type solar cooker. The Govt. of India is also promoting dish type solar cookers by providing subsidy@ Rs.2100/- per Sq. meter of the collector area limited to 30 % cost of the cooker and box type solar cookers @ Rs. 3600/- per sq. Meter of the collector area. During the year 2011-12, there was a target of distribution of 1750 solar cookers in the state with state subsidy provision of Rs. 20.0 lacs. During the year 2012-13, there is a target of 500 Dish type solar cookers & 1000 box type solar cookers with a state budget of Rs. 17.50 lac.
- September 2013: The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), a public company in Ahmedabad, India, is distributing solar box cookers to villagers as part of a conservation program designed to make people aware that by using solar cookers to bake and simmer they can save their LPG for specific cooking needs and save money by reducing their consumption of this expensive fuel without having to give it up entirely. For more information, contactDevang Joshi at Rudra Solar Energy.
- July 2013: Scheffler solar kitchen installed at Mt. Abu spiritual center -The Scheffler Community Kitchen has been installed as a collaboration between the Academy for a Better World and Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, with technology from Solare Brücke, Germany. With 84 receivers and cooking at 650 degrees, the system can produce up to 38,500 meals a day when the sun is at its peak.Read more…
- May 2013: It was a solar week at Barli Development Institute for Rural Women in which a week-long solar cooker training of SK-14 solar cookers was organised at the Institute’s campus (5-11 May 2013). The training was attended by 26 trainee-women of the outgoing 104th batch of women trainees. The rural and tribal women trainees eagerly learnt the process of assembling the solar cookers, cooking various dishes, and maintaining the cookers. The training was conducted by Mr. Yogesh Jadhav (Chief Operating Officer, Barli Institute) who took over from Mr. Jimmy McGilligan when he retired from the Institute in April 2011. After the training each of the trainees promised to save the environment and use the solar cookers.
- April 2013: LPG cylinder replacment is slow and unpredictable – Gautam Raja reports that is his area gas customers will first receive two cylinders of fuel when they establish their gas service. But when they run out, replacement can take over two weeks. Deliveries arrive unannounced, so the customer may miss it, and have to start the process all over again. Many residents have switched over to electrical induction cook tops, but the power supply can be less than reliable. Concerned about missing his morning chai, Gautam then discovered solar cookers, and was amazed by their capabilities. They help fill the gap, that is until the monsoon season. Read more…
- February 2013: Solar cooking and processing workshops in India – Celestino Ruivo, of the Instituto Superior de Engenharia da Universidade do Algarvein Portugal, traveled to India at the end of January to attend the 1st International Solar Food Processing Network workshop at the Muni Seva Ashram in Goraj, Vadodara, Gujarat, India. He brought with him 50 kg. of solar cooking bagage: 8 black pots, 16 glasses of windows cloth washing machines, corrugated sheet metal, reflective foil and tools to make low cost and effective portable funnel cookers. Creatively, Celestino used his suitcase as the mold to construct examples of his solar funnel cooker in concrete. He also gave a lecture about solar cooking and how to construct a funnel cooker at the CT institute in Punjab for more than 300 students, as well teaching solar cooking for ladies in domestic context at Jalandhar. The eight funnel cookers were donated to friends in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Muni Seva Ashram, Vadodara, Jalandhar and New Delhi.
- February 2013: The Solar Food Processing Network (SFPN) held a regional workshop in January 2013 at the Muni Seva Ashram in Goraj, Vadodara, Gujarat, India. This gathering was a follow-up to the 2009 AFPN conference held in Indore, India in 2010. Workshop participants heard from food marketing and technology experts. Conference organizers, Deepak Gadhia and Rolf Behringer held discussions on local and international marketing, village industries, packaging, policy interventions, R&D, and effective monitoring and evaluation of projects. Attendees discussed the formation of an international solar food standard and shared their own practical experiences using solar technology for food processing. Visit the Solar Food Processing Network to see a muscial video of the event and videos of solar food processing projects in Burkina Faso.
- January 2013: World’s largest solar cooking class takes place in India – On January 19, 2013, middle school students gathered on the grounds of JES College in Jalna, India to be trained in the use of a simple solar panel cooker. After a quick breakfast, and guidance from 205 trainers, a record-breaking 2,044 students assembled their own solar cooker and placed prepared ingredients inside to cook. After speaker presentations, they were able to enjoy the lunch they had cooked themselves. This event, sponsored by Simplified Technology for Life, demonstrates that India is quite serious about introducing solar cooking to young students.
- January 2013: Parabolic community solar cookers used for midday meals in rural schools – WOTR is a nonprofit organization that has been operating in five Indian states since the early nineties. They have untaken a unique solar cooking project targeting Zilla Parishad primary schools in the Sangamner and Akole taluka of the Ahmadnagar district. The objective was to find ways to help prepare their midday meal. Currently, twenty-three solar cookers are in service. After a careful study of all options, it was decided to deploy thePRINCE – 40 parabolic solar cooker, designed by Ajay Chandak, for the pilot installation in fifty-three villages across three states –Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh. Most of the schools where these cookers are installed are using them as main source of energy for the mid-day meals. Read more about the project at: A Report on Deployment of Parabolic Community Solar Cookers for Midday Meals in Rural Schools