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Solar Cookers How Poor in India can Fight against Gloal Warming – Solar Cooker Advantages,Disadvantages and Types

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Solar CookerWhat is a Solar Cooker

solar cooker uses solar energy  to heat food or drink to cook it . The vast majority of the solar cookers presently in use are relatively cheap  devices though expensive devices are more prevalent in developed countries. Solar Cookers use no fuel and require little maintainance, they can help reduce fuel costs for the poor which are mainly depended on firewood for cooking.This will reduce pollution and lead to saving of the forests.

Types of Solar Cookers

1) Box cookers – A box cooker has a transparent glass or plastic top, and it may have additional reflectors to concentrate sunlight into the box. The top can usually be removed to allow dark pots containing food to be placed inside.The solar box cooker typically reaches a temperature of 150 °C (300 °F). This is not as hot as a standard oven, but still hot enough to cook food over a somewhat longer period of time. Because the food does not reach too high a temperature, it can be safely left in the cooker all day without burning.

2) Panel solar cookers are very inexpensive solar cookers that use reflective panels to direct sunlight to a cooking pot that is enclosed in a clear plastic bag

3) Solar kettles are solar thermal devices that can heat water to boiling point by relying on solar energy alone. Low-tech ones are used in the preparation of hot drinks, and to sterilize water

4) Hybrid Solar Cooker is a solar box cooker equipped with a conventional electrical heating element for cloudy days or nighttime cooking. Hybrid solar ovens are therefore more independent

5)  Scheffler cooker  uses a large ideally paraboloidal reflector which is rotated around an axis that is parallel with the earth’s by a mechanical mechanism, turning at 15 degrees per hour to compensate for the earth’s rotation.. The cooking vessel is located at the focus which is on the axis of rotation, so the mirror concentrates sunlight onto it all day.

Also Read about Solar Dryers

Solar Cookers in India and Problems

India has installed the world’s largest solar cooker at a cost of $280,000 system at Shridi subsidized by the Indian government, which generates 3,500 kg of steam every day to make food for 20,000 people.However despite attempts made by the government to make this solar product popular lack of follow on effort has made it efforts go waste.

Solar Cooker Problems in India

Solar Cookers in India have faced trouble in adoption because of the following reasons such as:

  1. Slow Cooking and inability to cook outside of sunshine hours – Not all people will deal with such inconvenience which requires change if habits.Problem can be solved with a fossil fuel cooker in addition but that adds to the costs
  2. Low Sunlight Places – Access to sunlight may be difficult in some Regions
  3. Lack of Knowledge – Millions of citizens depend on kerosene and wood for cooking which is not only expensive but also leads to pollution.Lack of knowledge and trying something new are major hurdles.
  4. High Initial Cost – Indian income levels are quite low which makes buying solar cookers with even a $30 cost is unaffordable to most of the poor.The rich do not prefere solar cookers anyway.

Advantages of Solar Cooker

Solar Cookers are one of the most useful solar products but the lack of knowledge has not led to its widespread adoption.It is particularly useful in poor sunny countries like India where people are forced to burn high cost high polluting fuel for their cooking purposes.Solar Cookers have the following advantages.

  1. Easy to Make – Solar Cookers do not require state of the art hitech factores or expensive equipment to make.They are relatively easy to build
  2. No Fuel Costs – Solar Cookers only requires sunlight for operation.Save immensely on Gas Costs over its lifetime
  3. Easy Operation – Solar Cookers are not hard to operate.Working with wood is quite difficult.There are problem in gathering and burning which is avoided with Solar Cookers
  4. Long Life – Solar Cookers have a long life of around 15-20 years
  5. Multiple Cooking Possible – Solar Cookers can cook multiple items at one go and  produces food which is healthy and not infested with any coal or gas residues.

Disadvantages of Solar Cooker

1) Not Usable at All Times and Places – Solar cookers are less usable in cloudy weather and at high latitudes.Also, solar cooking provides hot food during or shortly after the hottest part of the day, rather than the evening when most people like to eat.

2) Takes more Time to Cook – Many solar cookers take longer time to cook food than a fuel-based oven. Using these solar cookers therefore requires that food preparation be started several hours before the meal.

3) Requires Different Cooking Technique – Cooks may need to learn special cooking techniques to fry common foods. It may not be possible to safely or completely cook some thick foods.

Read more about the Uses of Solar Energy


Abhishek Shah

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