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IISc scientists develop solar cooking device

Bengaluru, Dec 14, 2015, DHNS: 1:21 IST
Indian Institute of Science. DH file photo
Scientists from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have developed a device whereby “solar energy can be directly brought to the kitchen” paving the way for the use of clean energy for cooking.

The hybrid device transfers solar energy to the kitchen using a solar thermal collector to store the solar energy. Explaining the functioning of the device, a release from IISc said: “The device transfers solar energy to a curved concentrating collector that absorbs the energy and increases the temperature of heat transfer fluid. The fluid is of a special kind whose temperature can go up to 300C and is stored in a thermally insulated tank. A heat exchanger is positioned in the kitchen which transfers the heat from the fluid to the food that is meant to be cooked. A pump is used to regulate the heat transfer from the collector to the heat storage tank.”

While there are already solar cookers, a number of problems crops up - they can only be used during periods of clear skies, the rate of cooking cannot be controlled, etc, the release said.

Dr Prasanna U R, along with Dr L Umanand, from the Centre for Electronic Design and Technology, IISc, has developed the device. “This cooker can also be used indoors within the kitchen, reducing use of conventional energy. It can be used at any time of the day or night,” said Prasanna.

This device allows heat to transfer from the solar collector to the food meant to be cooked at an optimal rate. Despite the apparent advantages of the hybrid solar cooker, scientists say that certain challenges in the technology persist.

“People still need to design this device better so that everything can be installed at home cost effectively and quickly,” he said.

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