India’s biggest solar cooking system has been set up in Shirdi in Maharashtra, by the Shri Saibaba Sansthan trust. 2500 Kg rice, 1500 Kg dal, 500 kg vegitables are cooked every day. Around 35,000 people eat meals at Shirdi every day. The trust has saved approximately Rupees 40 lakhs of cooking fuel cost. Government of India’s company Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) has selected this cooking system as unique model and has decided to award the trust with its award for fuel savings.
Shirdi, home to Saibaba the revered saint, is a pilgrimage center in the state of Maharashtra in India. Around 1.50 Lakh devotees visit Shirdi every day. The Shri Saibaba Sansthan trust provides low cost meals to the devotees. Its a simple menu consisting of roti, subzi, dal, rice and one sweet in the form of a laddoos. It is estimated that earlier the trust used to consume 1750 Kg of cooking gas per day. This entailed a huge expenditure running into lakhs of rupees on cooking gas alone.
In July 2009 the trust decided to install a solar cooking system to cook food. The project is as follows:
- There are 73 solar dishes that create 37.5 lakh kilocal of heat energy.
- Due to the heat energy, steam is generated and utilised to cook food. Around 10.35 lakh Kilo steam is generated every day.
- 10 cookers of 150 litre capacity each are installed in the cooking area.
The trust also operates its own accommodations for devotees. Solar water heaters are installed to provide free hot water to devotees. Around 10,000 devotees stay here every day.
The trust has been able to save cooking gas to the tune of 63000 Kg’s per year.
This is a project of gigantic scale. This project is a WINNER. It saves fuel costs, uses renewable energy and is used for civilians. Great work done by the trust. An example for others to follow.
Source: World Wide Web