ONGC Solar Chulha Campaign

Giving values to humans

Dr Anil Kakodkar, Former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission chairing the expert panel meeting in Mumbai


Solar energy

We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature's inexhaustible sources of energy -- sun, wind and tide.... I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that. THOMAS EDISON, attributed, Uncommon Friends: Life with Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Alexis Carrel & Charles Lindbergh

"The kitchen really is the castle itself. This is where we spend our happiest moments and where we find the joy of being a family.- Mario Batali

An ambitious project on innovation towards making an "Efficient Electric Chulha (Stove)

Concentrating sunlight: A mirrored surface with high specular reflectivity is used to concentrate light from the sun on to a small cooking area. Depending on the geometry of the surface, sunlight can be concentrated by several orders of magnitude producing temperatures high enough to melt salt and smelt metal. For most household solar cooking applications, such high temperatures are not really required. Solar cooking products, thus, are typically designed to achieve temperatures of 150 °F (65 °C) (baking temperatures) to 750 °F (400 °C) (grilling/searing temperatures) on a sunny day.

Converting light energy to heat energy: Solar cookers concentrate sunlight onto a receiver such as a cooking pan. The interaction between the light energy and the receiver material converts light to heat. This conversion is maximized by using materials that conduct and retain heat. Pots and pans used on solar cookers should be matte black in color to maximize the absorption.

"The past had shown him many times that the future would be its own solution."

Ian McEwan, Solar

Trapping heat energy: It is important to reduce convection by isolating the air inside the cooker from the air outside the cooker. Simply using a glass lid on your pot enhances light absorption from the top of the pan and provides a greenhouse effect that improves heat retention and minimizes convection loss. This "glazing" transmits incoming visible sunlight but is opaque to escaping infrared thermal radiation. In resource constrained settings, a high-temperature plastic bag can serve a similar function, trapping air inside and making it possible to reach temperatures on cold and windy days similar to those possible on hot days.

On the Earth's surface, solar power is also handicapped because it is intermittent. A 1000-megawatt coal, gas, or nuclear power station needs only a few acres (or hectares) of land and operates day and night. A 1000-megawatt solar power station occupies square miles (or square kilometers) and works only in the daytime. Even so, the dream of producing electric power from sunlight on a massive scale won't die. Solar cells have been used to power satellites and space probes for decades. Someday, they may help to power a moon base. Unlike the situation on Earth, sunlight shines constantly in space, and the idea of deploying enormous solar cell arrays in near-Earth orbit and sending the electric power they generate to Earth using microwave transmitters was suggested more than 40 years ago by the Czech-American scientist and engineer Peter Glaser. FRANKLIN HADLEY COCKS, Energy Demand and Climate Change: Issues and Resolutions