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Satish John Posted: Tue, Apr 21 2009. 6:39 PM IST Deepak Gadhia, a specialist in energy conservation and management, his wife, a Malaysian of Indian origin, had a doctorate in genetic engineering. With his experience, Deepak planned to start energy conservation projects in India, while Shirin decided to set up a notfor-profit organization focused on the environment.
Mr. Deepak Gadhia (In the Center) demonstrating the Scheffler Technology to the trainees. Prof. Ajay Chandak on left. This Steam cooking system at Shirdi cooks 6000 meals per day.
Shirin, 56 now, and three years older than Deepak, had begun running the Eco Center ICNEER (International Center for Networking, Ecology, Education and Re-integration) in Valsad and Vadodara. She was trying to convince women from villages near Valsad to stop using firewood for cooking, but there weren’t any easy alternatives. For a poor villager to use the more expensive gas for cooking was easier said than done. That’s when Shirin approached her husband for help. Deepak’s friends in Germany were working on solar energy equipment and were willing to share the technology free. The technology for parabolic solar cookers came from his former colleague at Wacker Chemie, Dieter Seifert, who had invented the SK 14 solar cooker. With loans from friends and family as well as some of their own money, they floated Gadhia Solar Energy Systems Pvt. Ltd. Deepak focused on manufacturing the solar cookers, and Shirin created awareness for the product among the villagers. Their solar cookers cost Rs6,500 each, but were effective and cheaper than other clean alternatives over the long term. The cookers caught on and states such as Andhra Pradesh
encouraged the Gadhias to develop a concept of “smokeless” villages. He has installed solar-powered community kitchens for the Indian Army in places such as Leh. Even temple trusts have converted to solar-powered kitchens. His solar steam cooking system feeds the thousands of devotees at the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam. This month, Deepak’s company installed the world’s largest solar steam cooking system in the Shirdi Sai Baba Temple in Maharashtra, with capacity to cook meals for 40,000 people a day. The system is being tested and will be operational in a few weeks.
Deepak says solar-powered systems should be made affordable so even poor villagers can buy them, and finds efforts by micro-finance companies to fund solar cookers heartening. Recognition for his work has started pouring in. The husband-wife duo recently received the solar entrepreneurship Bluesky Top Ten Technology award in China. Gadhia Solar got funding a couple of years ago, when the Gadhias sold 50% stake in the firm to Zero Energy of UK, which is registered in Cypress, for Rs2.15 crore. And as more institutions and villages took to solar energy, Gadhia Solar’s revenue rose to Rs7 crore in 2008-09 from Rs2 crore the previous year.
Parabolic Type Concentrating Solar Steam Cooking System
http://www.mahaurja.com/SP_MassCooking.html The solar steam cooking system installed at Shirdi has 40 parabolic concentrators / dishes (called Scheffler dishes after its inventor) placed on the terrace of Sai Prasad Building No.2. A parabolic type concentrating solar steam cooking system was commissioned at Shri Saibaba Sansthan, Shirdi on 24th May, 2002. This system received financial assistance of 50 % of the total project cost from the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources, GoI. This is the first of its kind in Maharashtra. It cooks food for about 3000 devotees.
The 40 nos. of solar parabolic concentrators raise the water temperature to 550C to 650C and convert it into steam for cooking purposes. This system is integrated with the existing
boiler to ensure continued cooking even at night and during rain or cloudy weather. The solar cooking system installed at Shirdi follows the thermosiphon principle and so does not need electrical power or pump. The Sansthan has a prasadalaya where it offers food (prasad) to the devotees at subsidized rates. Thousands of devotees partake food at a nominal rate of Rs.4/- per meal for grown ups and Rs.2/- per meal for children. The Sansthan is always on the lookout for innovative ways to reduce its overhead costs. They have installed hot- water- systems at its dharmashalas / dormitories, providing staying facilities for devotees. In the Sulabh Sauchalaya complex located in its premises, to night-soil-biogas plant is installed to generate gas from human excreta, which is used to operate generators to produce electricity for the complex. The Sansthan has also installed solar streetlights in its pumping complex. Thus it was found to be the ideal place to introduce the new solar steam cooking technology for its proper take-off in Maharashtra state. Goals Before the installation of the solar cooking system, the steam for cooking at Sansthan was being generated by LPG gas firing in the boiler. The main goal of the system was to reduce LPG gas consumption by 50 %. Another important goal beside financial benefits due to saving LPG gas was to use as much natural energy as possible to promote environment protection, its conservation and rejuvenation by using renewable and clean energy. To promote and popularize use of solar energy. MNES and MEDA have supported this project towards realizing this objective.
Technical process They reflect and concentrate the solar rays on the 40 receivers placed in focus. Water coming from the steam headers placed above the header centres is received from bottom of the receiver, gets heated up to due to heat generated (about 5500C) due to concentration of solar rays on the receivers and get pushed up via top pipe of receiver into the header. The principle of anything that gets heated is pushed up is called thermo-siphon principle. The advantage of thermosiphon principle is no pumping (thus no electricity) is needed to create circulation since the heated water is pushed into the header and water from the same headers come into the receivers for heating. The cycle continues till it reaches 1000C and gets converted into steam.
The header is only filled and thus steam generated gets accumulated in the upper half of the steam header. The temperature and pressure of steam generated keeps on increasing and heat is stored till the steam is drawn for cooking into the kitchen. All the 40 dishes rotate continuously along with the movement of the sun, always concentrating the solar rays on the receivers. This movement of concentrators is called tracking, which is continuous and is controlled by the fully automatic timer mechanism. Only once during the day i.e. in the early morning the dishes have to be turned manually onto the morning position, subsequently the automatic tracking takes over. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sun God creates a Culmary Miracle at Shirdi Dharamshala
THE TIMES OF INDIA MUMBAI TUESDAY, JUNE 12,2001 By Anil Slngh SHIRDI (Ahrnednagar): Sai Baba devotees who flock to this village praying for miracles are oblivious of the modern-day miracle which enables the dharamshala here to cook 7,000 meals each day using just the sun’s rays. Hardly any pilgrims go up to the terrace of the four-storey dharamshala where an array of parabolic mirrors create temperatures of 550-650 degrees celsius by focussing sun’s rays The intense heat generated at the focal point of each mirror is used to convert water into steam which is piped to feed the steam cooking vessels in the kitchen. Placed at the focal point of each mirror is a tube descending from a pipe running overhead. Heated by the concentrated rays of the sun, water in the tubes rises and is automatically replaced by cooler water from the pipe through a natural process called thermosyphon. The cycle continues till the water reaches a uniform temperature of 100 degrees Celcius and is converted into steam. The temperature and the pressure of the steam generated keeps on increasing and the heat is stored till the steam is drawn into the kitchen for cooking. The only manual inputs needed by the system are setting the mirrors (called concentrators) to face the sun in the morning and operating the pump to fill the pipes with water. A timer mechanism powered by solar cells (which convert sunlight into electricity) gradually rotates the mirrors so that they constantly face the sun as it moves across the sky. The entire system is run by one operator. The speciality of this solar cooker invented by Wolfgang Scheffler is that it generates steam unlike the earlier models where the cooking pot was placed at the focal point of the parabolic minor. “We have brought the sun into the kitchen,” says Deepak Gadhia whose Valsad-based firm in- stalled the system at Shirdi in the last week of May. At Shirdi, the solar cooking system is integrated with the existing gas-fired boiler and helps save 50 per cent of the boiler’s fuel,
which amounts to 314 kg of LPG per day. The savings per annum total up to Rs 7.5 lakh. The system cost Rs 35 lakh, 50 per cent of which was paid by the ministry of nonconventional energy sources Taking into account the subsidy and the fact that the operation and maintenance cost work out to Rs 1 lath a year, the payback period is five yearn The Shri Saibaba Sansthan wrote to Mr Gadhia in July 1999 after it came across a newspaper article detailing his role in setting up a similar system for the Bramhakurnaris at Mount Abu. Shirdi is the second place in India to have such a system, and Mr Gadhia is now in the process of selling the concept to the management of the Tirupati temple. An array of parabolic mirrors on the terrace of a dharamshala at Shirdi cooks food for 7,000 pilgrims every day using the sun’s rays.
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