In most of the cooking activities, LPG or diesel is used as a fuel. The cost of these fuels is rising daily and their contribution to global warming is increasing at a rapid rate too. The labor and time involved in conventional cooking is immense and there is a chance of fouling up of the food due to direct or indirect contact with the fuel. The solution to these problems is in the form of a solar steam cooking system which uses the thermal energy of the sun to produce steam for cooking. The Solar Steam Cooking systems developed for community cooking application provide an eco-friendly solution to the increasing energy demand of the community kitchen/cooking in India. The Government is also providing a number of subsidies to enhance the popularity of such systems.

Taylormade Solar Renewables Ltd. is a ISO 9001-2008 certified company, they manufacture parabolic concentrators with fix focus of various sizes with various applications like  Air-conditioning, Solar Direct and Steam cooking, heating, process heat, producing steam, heating of Thermic fluid, pressurized hot water and many more. TRL has successfully installed many projects across India and has a team experience of more than 15 years in CST applications.

Indian Space Research Organization after Tender Process had placed an order for Solar Steam Cooking Systems to Taylormade Renewables Ltd. (TRL), based in Ahmadabad. In the Tender many manufacturers took part but did not submit the tender due to the difficulties present at the site. Due to space constraint it was a very difficult and a challenging job to install the 2 parabolas of 16M2 on the roof of the kitchen. The shape of the terrace was such that water storage tank needed to be placed outside the terrace which would increase the piping cost and other expenses. But TRL after awarded the tender and the work order, TRL with its vast experience and expertise in doing the challenging projects completed the installation work at ISRO quite satisfactorily.

After the completion of the project, ISRO has been saving 60% of CNG which it used before.  They are so happy with the system that they are planning to install 3 another Steam Cooking System for 1000 people per day.

Solar Steam Generation System: Salient features:

Besides the benefits they bestow on the environment, solar steam cooking systems are advantageous in many other ways as well:

• Cooking possible in the kitchen- Since it is an indirect cooking system with the steam produced outside and brought into the kitchen via standard piping, there is no requirement of cooking in the sun. The existing kitchen can be used with very few modifications.

• No need to stand in the heat of the sun- The cooking can be done in the existing kitchen, with only the apparatus outside.

• Once set in the morning, tracks sun automatically- One operator is required to align the dishes once in the morning.

• Cooks faster than other types of solar cookers- The very high temperatures produced result in faster cooking as compared to other solar cooking technologies.

• User friendly, easy to move and clean

• Safe to operate and durable

• Effectively useful from one hour after sunrise to one hour before sunset

• Uses highly reflective surface to increase efficiency .

The total number of meals dining in the mess in ISRO is 125 and they take three meals per day. Out of these three meals, two (lunch and dinner) involve preparation of items like rice, dal, vegetables which can be cooked/are being cooked using steam cooking technology. In the breakfast, boiling of milk is possible using steam.

Mess have hot water heater which produces hot water for dish washing purposes. This very same purpose can be achieved via the excess steam which is produced by the steam cooking system. Also, most messes already have steam boilers for preparation of rice etc. and they can serve the purpose of backup boilers in the steam cooking arrangement.

The solar steam generating system comprises of automatically tracked parabolic concentrators with steam header/ tank assemblies and receivers, steam pipelines, feed water piping, steel structures and civil works, instrumentation like pressure gauges and temperature indicators, steam separators, steam traps etc. It is hooked up with conventional steam backup system, via. LPG based cooking system.