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SOLAR PV COOK STOVES FOR CLEAN ENERGY COOKING

Globally, 2.8 billion people lack access to clean cooking facilities. By 2030, 2.3 billion people will still lack access to clean cooking facilities. In India, an estimated 780 million people rely on biomass for cooking., (almost 60% of households still cook with biomass). The country with the largest population without clean cooking access, Indian government promotion of LPG and improved biomass cookstoves means that over 300 million people gain access to clean cooking facilities by 2030, but more than one person in three remains without. In contrast with the huge strides made in electricity access in India, the number of people without clean cooking access over the last 15 years has only increased by 80 million.

Women spend on average 1.4 hours a day collecting fuelwood and four hours for cooking and also suffer the most from household air pollution: they must be at the heart of finding solutions. An estimated 2.8 million people die every year from diseases linked to indoor air pollution associated with the use of polluting fuels for cooking and lighting. For clean cooking, LPG delivers much of the access in urban areas, while in rural areas progress is achieved largely through improved biomass cooking. In addition, the biomass often comes from unsustainable sources. 

Currently, electricity is used as the main cooking fuel by just 8% of households in developing countries.  Clean cooking solutions are included as one of 11 action areas of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative. Progress in clean cooking is essential for achieving United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, such as SDG7 on affordable and clean energy. Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC), a public-private partnership with the goal of getting 100 million households to adopt clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by 2020, is currently operational.

Solar Cookstove developed by SoULS team,  IIT Mumbai is completely powered by 1 kWp module, 7 kWh battery storage which can fulfil daily cooking energy needs of a family of five members in a day, which ranges between 3-3.5 units. It has 2 nos 1000 W induction cooks tops and 500 Watt resistive cooker (optional). Solar PV cooking solution, even in today's economic terms is comparable with LPG solutions.

The innovative cookstove would go a long way in reducing indoor air pollution, improving the quality of air, especially for women and children. One could witness a significant transition in the form of heat energy source for household cooking (see fig) 


The induction cookstoves available in the market work on 230V Alternating Current. Internally in the induction cook stove, the 230V AC power gets converted into 325V DC Power, which is then converted into 20 kHz High-Frequency AC (HFAC) Power. This HFAC power induces an eddy current in the vessel, which is responsible for heat generation. 

An additional benefit of this solution is that the stored electrical energy can power other electric appliances as well. Commercial level solar systems are capable of meeting these requirements and it may be a matter of time before these systems are available at the household unit size.


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