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Title of the Project: Indoor Solar Cooking system with “Thermal Batteries in composite matrix structure”

Brief Description

This innovation seeks to overcome the limitations of solar cooking, which heavily relies on climate and sunlight availability. The primary challenge lies in the inability to synchronize cooking times with the solar window. Moreover, outdoor cooking can be inconvenient. Thus, the proposal aims to create a cost-effective method for storing solar energy while offering the convenience of indoor cooking and optimizing energy usage efficiently.

The solution revolves around using solar photovoltaic (PV) panels as an external energy source placed where sunlight is abundant, while introducing an innovation called the "thermal battery" for indoor use in the kitchen. The core innovation is a "composite structure" serving as a thermal heat storage unit. This storage method, known as sensible heat storage, involves using materials with high thermal conductivity and specific heat capacity, traditionally represented by expensive materials like aluminium. However, the innovation proposes a composite matrix of a small quantity of expensive aluminium combined with a larger quantity of affordable materials like granite, concrete, stones, or gypsum. These inexpensive materials, though having low thermal conductivity, are encapsulated in aluminium, compensating for this limitation. The aim is to reduce the high capital investment associated with using aluminium alone for heat storage.

The innovative thermal battery is designed to store heat without any phase change or chemical alteration, providing durability with an unlimited lifespan. The emphasis is on indoor solar cooking, harnessing free solar energy without fuel costs. The system is engineered to enable cooking at the user's preferred time in the comfort of their kitchen.

Additionally, the innovation envisions specially designed, insulated pots that contribute to high cooking efficiency. The integrated solar PV panels are expected to offer a minimum lifespan of 20 years, and with no moving parts or chemical alterations, the system would require minimal maintenance, predominantly limited to periodic cleaning of the solar panels.

This technology, once commercialized, aims to be disseminated to entrepreneurs for mass production. The benefits are multifaceted, ranging from the use of free solar energy for cooking, reduced fuel costs, and the flexibility of indoor cooking at one's convenience, to the potential for an extended product lifespan, minimal maintenance, and the utilization of convenient sunny locations for solar panel installation. The innovation is poised to transform solar cooking by offering efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and user-friendly indoor cooking experiences.

Name of the Principal Investigator: Dr Ajay Chandak

Name of the Co-Principal Investigator:  NA

Project Achievements & Outcomes:

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