B.S. Satish Kumar

It costs about Rs. 13.50 lakh to install the system

  • The panels can be installed on the roof and connections given to individual flats
  • Centre extends a subsidy of 35 per cent for charitable institutions and 35 per cent for others

    BANGALORE: A choice is now available for those living in apartments to switch over to the renewable energy mode of cooking. Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd. (KREDL) is now promoting a solar-powered steam-based cooking system that suits apartments, hostels, big hotels and the institutions that take up mass feeding.

    The main attraction of this cooking mode is that one can recover the investment made on the system in two to three years.

    From there onwards, cooking will be free of cost as maintenance expense of the system is negligible, says KREDL Managing Director B. Shivalingaiah.

    The system comprises parabolic-shaped reflectors, which focus the sun's rays on a particular point on an aluminium pipe through which water is made to pass through. The water heats and generates steam that passes through another pipe to be used for cooking purpose.

    In the case of apartments, the steam pipe could be connected to the kitchens of individual flats, Dr. Shivalingaiah says. The entire system can be located on the roof.

    However, the system is effective only during the day as it harnesses sunlight. Hence it can be used for re-heating the already cooked food, he notes. He suggests that one can use this steam-based system to supplement the conventional fuel-based cooking. This will reduce the pressure on demand for LPG and result in savings for households.

    The KREDL has installed this non-conventional cooking system at Sringeri Math, where large-scale cooking is taken up for feeding the devotees, and another at the Rishi Samskruthi Vidya Kendra on the outskirts of Bangalore. It is in the process of installing such a system at the Adichunchanagiri Math's students' hostel.

    Dr. Shivalingaiah says the system can be used in hostels and big hotels.

    The cost of installation is about Rs. 13.50 lakh for a system in which up to 500 meals can be cooked at a time. The Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources provides 50 per cent subsidy on the cost for the non-profitable and charitable institutions while the subsidy will be 35 per cent for others. But one should install a system with a minimum capacity to cook 500 meals to be eligible for the subsidy, Dr. Shivalingaiah says.

    The life span of this system is estimated at about 10 years. After that an investment of about 25 per cent of the project cost has to be made to replace the reflectors.

    The KREDL is ready to offer technical know-how if the Primary and Secondary Education Department brings before it a proposal to use this system for its mid-day meal scheme, Dr. Shivalingaiah says.

    The Parappana Agrahara Central Jail authorities have shown interest in installing such a cooking system. For details, call 080-22282221.