|March 18, 2008|
India is well-known for delicious food, and the kitchen is considered to be a sacred place in any Indian home. And now India has something else to be proud of: the world’s largest solar kitchen. The system 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!
The solar kitchen has been set up at Taleti, near Mount Abu, situated at a height of 1219 m above sea level in Rajasthan. It boasts of a six-module solar steam cooking system and a total of 84 parabolic dish concentrators shell type receivers. Each oval parabolic concentrator has a reflective surface area of 9.2 square meters, and reflect sunlight on the receivers by special white glass pieces. Steam is collected in the header pipes, which is then directed via insulated pipes to cooking vessels in the kitchen.
The system generates temperatures of up to about 650 degrees, and 3500-4000 kg of steam per day. The food is cooked in 200-400 liters capacity cooking pots, producing an average of 20,000 meals a day, and up to 38,500 meals per day during periods of peak solar radiation maximum.
A total of $5 million has been spent on this endeavor. The Academy for a Better World is interested in renewable energy technologies and the program is part of a special demonstration project of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India.