The rising cost of LPG has led to a students’ home tapping solar energy to cook. The Ramakrishna Mission Students’ Home, Mylapore is all set to install a solar thermal steam cooking system on Monday. Earlier, the home used two LPG cylinders – each 14.2 kg – to fire a boiler and for steam cooking. However, with the price of LPG cylinders rising, they shifted to a custom-made wood burner, and their fuel bills dropped.

The home then analysed other options and decided on a solar thermal steam generation system. Their plant taps solar energy by focusing sunlight into a central receiver. Water flowing to the receiver is heated and converted into steam for cooking.

The system can produce 600 kg of steam on a clear sunny day and this can be used to cook around 4,000 meals a day with a daily energy output of 4 lakh kilocalories. The Union ministry of new and renewable energy, has provided a 30 per cent financial subsidy for the project, according to a press release.