Ramakrishna Mission Students Home adopts solar energy for cooking

Chennai: Observing the 150 birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, Ramakrishna Mission Students Home and Clique Solar, pioneer in developing solar technologies for Industrial Process Heating (IPH), Community Cooking and Comfort Cooling applications, launched ARUN®100 at the Ramakrishna Mission Students Home premises.

The opening was blessed by Srimat Swami Gautamanandaji Maharaj, Adyaksha, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai, and launched in the presence of Mr Karunakaran, GM, TEDA.

ARUN®100 solar thermal system will provide enough steam to cook an equivalent of 3500-4000 meals (consisting of sambhar, rasam, rice, vegetables and dal) for the students and residents of the Mission daily.

Welcoming the dignitaries and guests to this dedication ceremony, Swami Satyajnananandaji Maharaj, Secretary of the Students Home, said, “Ramakrishna Mission is committed towards serving the society and the environment in which it lives. This year being the 150th year of Swami Vivekananda birth anniversary, we want to take a step forward in strengthening our commitment. We have adopted ARUN solar steam generating technology to reduce our dependency on LPG, required for cooking. By capturing solar energy and using it to convert water into enough steam, a majority of our everyday cooking requirements is fulfilled, including the morning breakfast due to the thermal storage provided with the system. It is a pollution-free and environment-friendly system and is in harmony with the principles and activities of Ramakrishna Mission.”

Speaking at the inauguration of ARUN®100 cooking system, Mr Ashok Paranjape, Managing Director, Clique Solar said, “It is a matter of great pride that Ramakrishna Mission chose to adopt the 100% indigenously developed ARUN technology. I am sure this will provide a great support not only for us, but for the Concentrated Solar Thermal (CST) industry as well.”

He added, “The potential of solar energy is huge, but adoption by organizations depends upon how well a given solar technology overcomes the challenges they face. Our focus has always been on identifying and addressing these challenges. The ARUN technology is India’s most efficient solar thermal technology. It solves the user’s three most important challenges – on demand supply of thermal energy, accuracy of thermal output in spite of the inherent variability of solar radiation, limited space availability and economics.”

MNRE has provided immense support in taking the ARUN Concentrated Solar Thermal (CST) technology to the industry by way of providing financial assistance for R&D, as well as granting subsidies to the users that have installed the ARUN dish.

Need for Clean Renewable Energy at the Ramakrishna Mission Students Home

The kitchen at the Ramakrishna Mission Students Home used LPG for firing boiler for steam cooking. We used 2 LPG cylinders (14.2 kg) per day, however given the recent rise in fuel prices LPG no longer a sustainable option. To overcome the problem of rising LPG cost, we shifted to a custom made wood burner which burnt wood very efficiently and also reduced the amount of smoke. Our cooking fuel bills were reduced to some extent.

However we looked for ways to cook food with less cost. We analyzed many options and finally decided upon ARUN100 – a solar thermal steam generation system from Clique Solar, Mumbai. This system finds many applications in Industrial process heating, cooling, desalination, cooking, milk pasteurization and effluent treatment.

This plant uses the immense power of the sun by focusing the sunlight to a central receiver. Water flowing to the receiver is heated up and converted into steam which is used for cooking. ARUN® dish is capable of moving and tracking the sun’s motion (Automated Dual Axis Tracking) and thus maximizing the efficiency of the system. We are able to store steam as pressurized hot water in a tank to be used later during early morning and night time cooking. This solar thermal system can produce around 600 kgs of steam on a clear sunny day and can be used to cook around 4000 meals a day with daily energy output of 4 lakh Kcal.

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India, provide 30% financial subsidy for the project.

Source: Clique Solar

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