Thiruvananthapuram: Against the backdrop of rising LPG prices, the Department of Electrical Engineering of the NIT, Kozhikode, has developed a new technology to tap solar energy to power a Smart Solar cooker.
S.Ashok, professor of the department who is also the mentor of the project, said the product has been developed based on the idea of his deputy V.A.Karthikeyan who is in charge of the Industrial Power Group of the department.
The entire idea is his and it is going to be a boon to the housewives, small wayside eateries and not to mention of those who travel into the forests and areas where cooking becomes a challenge, said Ashok.
He went on to say that they have developed a single cooker and also a double cooker and it’s powered using a 150 W solar panel.
“The solar panel comes in two forms, one is permanent one and the other is one which can be rolled and taken anywhere. This can be used in three ways. It can be used through the panel when the Sun is shining and when it is not, we have a 16 ampere battery pack and when that too runs out, there is an electric plug which can be plugged into a 5 ampere outlet. Hence there is absolute flexibility, said Ashok.
“We have conducted field trials. When we fixed the solar panel on the rooftop of small wayside eateries it proved to be a huge success. This is also good for those who travel and wish to do their own cooking as either the solar panel can be placed on vehicle rooftops or it can be left on the ground,” added Ashok.
Karthikeyan said that this is a gift to the women who do cooking and are affected by the increasing price of cooking gas.
On an average by using this solar cooker, every family can save around Rs 12,000 a year. For a small family one needs to buy a single gas stove, which now costs Rs 10,000 and a double stove comes at a cost of Rs 15,000, he said.
The department has applied for a patent and by now several companies are in talks with companies who have approached them for technology transfer and very soon it will be given to a good company and they expect the present price of the solar powered cooker will further come down.