Suman Pao, Vikas Gautam and Juwel Tripura, all three engineering (mechanical) students, explain that the solar heater containing a parabolic reflector works in conjunction with a drum containing water.
Explaining the mechanism, Pao said the aluminium dish of the solar heater reflects sun’s radiant energy into the drum with a lid, atop which cooking is done. During rainy season the drum can double as a rain water collector too, the students said.
Pao said, “The earth is bathed in a steady flow of radiant energy from the sun. In our part of the world, on a sunny summer day, each square metre receives about 1,000 watt of energy per second from the sun.”
As energy is spread out, it does not rapidly heat things the way a microwave or electric oven does. So, by the same way as a magnifying lens burns paper and wood by concentrating sunlight on one point, cooking can be done, he said.
He claimed that the parabolic reflector can raise the temperature of water up to 139 degrees C, sufficient enough to cook cereals and vegetables.
“Our parabolic solar heater is most suitable for boiling water, cooking, roasting, baking, grilling or frying. Most importantly, it can also be used in a remote region where there is no access to fuel.
The heater can generate sufficient heat for such purposes such as bathing, washing, cleaning, roasting, baking, grilling or frying.
Vikas Gautam said that the solar heater could be used in commercial and industrial sectors where a large quantity of water was required to be heated to a fairly high temperature.
Pao said that it was a one-time investment and doesn’t require a highly skilled person to operate the device.