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Concentrating solar cookers SK14 and Scheffler

Dish Solar Cooker SK14

It is a concentrating type parabolic dish solar
cooker useful for homes & small
establishments. A typical dish solar cooker
has an aperture diameter of 1.4 meter and
focal length 0.28 meter. The reflecting
material used for fabrication of this cooker
is anodized aluminum sheet which has a
reflectivity of over 80%. The tracking of the
cooker is manual and thus has to be adjusted
in 15 to 20 minutes during cooking time. It
has a delivering power of about 0.6 kW
which can boil 2 to 3 liters of water in half
an hour. The temperature achieved at the
bottom of the vessel could be around 350 to
400o C which is sufficient for roasting, frying and boiling. The cooker having a thermal
efficiency of around 50% can meet the needs of around 15 people and can be used from one
hour after sunrise to one hour before sunset on clear days. It can be easily dismantled and
assembled by anybody and thus may be nicely packed and transported anywhere in the
country. The cooker is user friendly as the place of vessel to be kept for cooking is at a level
which is convenient for the people to use.
Potential users: The cooker could be useful for individuals in rural as well as urban areas
and also for small establishments like dhabas, tea shops, etc. on road sides.
Fuel Savings: The cooker can save up to 10 LPG cylinder/year on full use at small
Cost: The cost of the cooker may vary from Rs. 3,500 to Rs. 5,000 depending on the type of
reflectors used. The cookers with imported reflectors having a reflectivity of over 90% will
have a higher cost.
Life: Around 20 years for metallic structure. Reflecting sheets may however, have to be
replaced once in 5 years due to degradation in reflectivity.
Pay back: 1 to 3 years depending on the extent of use and the place of utilization (for
commercial establishments and large families the pay back period is less).

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Paraboloid Type Community Solar Cooker for Indoor Cooking

(Scheffler Concentrator)
The cooker has been designed by Wolfgong
Scheffler, associated with Solar Brucke of
Germany and is being promoted by local
manufactures and a few NGOs in India for the
last few years. The unique feature of this
cooker is that it is possible to cook using solar
energy within the kitchen itself. The large
reflector of minimum 7 m2 area standing
outside the kitchen reflects the solar rays into
the kitchen through an opening in its North wall
while a secondary reflector further concentrates
the rays on to the bottom of the pot/ frying pan
painted black. The temperature attained is so
high (400C) that the food could be cooked in a
shorter time unlike box solar cooker. It
therefore acts like a conventional cooking
device with the difference that instead of
conventional cooking fuel like gas, electricity
or firewood, the food is cooked with the help of
solar energy.
Outside view (above) and inside kitchen (below)
Salient Features
Community cooking: Cooking for about 40 to 50 persons is possible with this cooker. Same
is not possible with other types of solar cookers. One dish may take around 1 to 1 hours
depending on the type of dish and solar insolation available. The cooker, however, works
nicely in areas where solar insolation is good during most part of the year. It is possible to
cook two meals with the cooker in those areas.
Indoor Cooking: Since the solar rays are directed into the kitchen, it enables cooking
indoors. The cook, therefore, does not have to go outside in the sun to load and unload the
cooking pots as being done in Box Solar Cooker.
Fast cooking: Due to high temperature and power at focal point, the cooking rate is
significantly higher compared to other solar cookers.
Cooking of traditional food: Due to high temperature it is possible to cook almost all
traditional dishes including making chapatis, purees, dhosa etc. as well as doing Vaghar/
Tadka before adding the vegetables, dal etc. With box-type cookers many of these
traditional dishes which require frying are not possible.
Automatic tracking: There is a mechanical clockwork arrangement which rotates the outside
primary reflector to track the sun automatically. The cook has to set this reflector in focus
only once a day in the morning and thereafter for rest of the time the clockwork keeps on
rotating the reflector automatically.
Seasonal adjustment: With shifting of two arms provided in the reflector frame it is possible
to change the curvature of the parabolic reflector for seasonal adjustment; thus keeping it
fully tracked with the sun during all seasons.
Multiple uses: During the period when cooker is not in use for cooking, it can be used for hot
water production.
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Potential users: The cooker could be useful to residential schools, institutional kitchens such
as industrial and administrative canteens, religious ashrams, hotels, hospitals, police and
armed forces kitchens, etc. One cooker can serve for 40 to 50 people. For larger number of
people, more cookers could be installed.
Systems installed at other places
The worlds largest Solar Steam Cooking System at Tirupathi for 15,000 people per day
with 106 Scheffler concentrators each having 9.2 m2 reflector area and more than 75%
reflectivity. Functioning since Sep. 2002.
Sri Sai Baba Sansthan, Shiridi, Maharashtara for 3000 people/day with collector area of
368 sq. m. and mirror reflectivity 75%. Functioning since August 2001.
Brahmakumaris training centre, Hubli for 600 people with. collector area of 75 sq. m. and
mirror reflectivity 90%. Functioning since August 2001.
Brahmakumaris Ashram, Gurgaon , Haryana for 2000 people with collector area 265 sq.
m. and mirror reflectivity 90%. Functioning since July 2002.
Brahmakumaris Ashram, Talleti, near Mount Abu for 10,000 people with collector area
of 800 sq. m. and mirror reflectivity 90%. (Worlds 2nd largest system). Functioning since
April, 1999.
Rishi Valley School, Chitoor District, Andhra Pradesh for 500 people with collector area
of 94 sq. m. and mirror reflectivity 75%. Functioning since September, 2002.
The third system commissioned at a hospital in Mount Abu generates 1.2 MT/day of
steam for use for sterilization, laundry etc. apart from cooking purposes in the hospital
kitchen during 2005.
A total of 12 such systems of different capacities have been installed in the country so far
as of March 2006.
Fuel Saving: Around 35 to 40 LPG cylinder per year on full use in community kitchens.
Cost: Rs. 40,000 to 50,000 approx. depending on the type of reflectors used (metal, glass,
acrylic and their reflectivities) and salient features provided by the manufacturers.
Life: Metallic structure has about 20 year life. It should be able to withstand high wind
speeds. Reflecting mirrors should have a minimum of 5 years.
O&M Expenditure: 2 to 3% per annum on an average.
Pay back period: 8 to 10 years (without financial support).
Ideal kitchen for indoor cooking
The kitchen wall from where the sun rays will enter should be North facing and
should be exposed to open surroundings.
It should be a single storey building having a slanting roof towards North wall.
Otherwise the cooker may have shadow of the kitchen.
There should not be any other building/structure/trees very near to the kitchen which
will cast shadow on the cooker standing in front of the North wall.
There should be sufficient space in front of the North wall of kitchen to install the
solar cooker facing South. 6 to 8 meters distance from the wall should serve the
For other places, a separate shed may have to be constructed near the solar cooker for
cooking food under the shade

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Case Study
Worlds largest system for cooking application installed at
Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam (TTD), Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh
The worlds largest Solar Steam Cooking System at Tirupathi was installed by M/s Gadhia
Solar Energy Systems, Valsad during Sep. 2002. The cost of the system is Rs. 109.00 lakhs
which includes back up boiler, utensils and AMC for 5 years. The system has a capacity to
prepare food for 15,000 people/day and it employs automatic tracking solar dish
concentrators (Scheffler), which convert water into high pressure steam. The steam thus
generated is being used for cooking purposes in the kitchen of TTD.
The system has been designed to generate over 4,000 kg. of steam/day at 180C and
10 kg/cm2 which is sufficient to cook two meals for around 15,000 persons. It is of modular
in nature and consists of 106 automatic tracked parabolic concentrators arranged in series and
parallel combination; each of 9.2 m2 reflector area. Each unit of concentrators is connected to
a central steam pipe line going to the kitchen. The system is made of indigenous components
and the reflectors used are of acrylic mirrors having reflectivity over 75%. The system is
functioning satisfactorily and is expected to save around 1,18,000 diesel per year.
Parabolic concentrators
Each parabolic concentrator of the system has a reflector frame fitted with reflectivity
material, rotating support and a stand. The concentrators are installed in such a way that each
two of them sharply focus sunlight to opposite sides of the receivers attached to a steam
header. These concentrators are tracked automatically in east-west direction with the help of
a central tracking arrangement. Seasonal adjustment is done on manual basis.
Receiver design
It is a shell type receiver made of MS, 35 cm in diameter and is connected to each two
concentrators which focus the sunlight on both sides of this reciever. Various such receivers
in a unit of concentrators are connected to a 12 dia. header pipe which is half filled with demineralized water. The receivers and the header pipe are insulated to avoid any heat losses.
Each receiver is integrated with two pipes of 1 and from inside which help in
thermosiphonic flow of water from receiver to header and back. When the water gets heated
in the receiver, it starts moving up in the header through one pipe and the cold water from
header starts coming into the receiver. The cycle goes on and a high pressure steam is
generated in the header after some time.
System functioning
Before the system is put into operation in the morning, all the header pipes are half filled
with water using a high pressure reciprocating pump. All the concentrators are then arranged
manually in the direction of the sun with the help of a central tracking arrangement. Once
this is done all the concentrators then track the sun automatically with the help of a small DC
motor run by PV panel. The time adjustment of tracking is made using a timer and a relay.
The steam pressure starts building up in the header pipes immediately and is sufficient to
deliver the steam in the kitchen in an hour or so. This steam can be drawn any time in the day
even at the time of power failure as the feed water pump is not required to feed water and
push the steam.

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Scheffler concentrator installed at Mt. Abu

Scheffler concentrator installed at Thirupathi

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