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USE OF SOLAR PARABOLIC COOKERS _SK-14_ IN NEPAL

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					USE OF SOLAR PARABOLIC COOKERS (SK-14) IN NEPAL
Sama Shrestha (Ms.), E-mail: sama_shrestha@infoclub.com.np

ABSTRACT :
Solar Cooker is a device that uses only sunlight to cook food and pasteurise water. Solar cooker can be used along with other cooking devices to save cost, fuel and the time spent in gathering fuelwood. Solar cooking enables individual families to do without commercially sold fuel and help save money. In Nepal, supply of energy is one of the major problems for both urban and rural households. Increase in population, high migration, expensive fuel bills, environmental degradation, and unsafe drinking water have resulted in the keen interest from people of Nepal to use solar energy. The increasing number of tourists and trekkers are now one of the major sources of income and many people are engaged in running hotels, lodges, and restaurants. This has also increased the fuel demand. This paper highlights the current energy situation of Nepal, the technical details of solar parabolic cooker (SK-14), it's uses throughout Nepal and strategies adopted by various organisation for its promotion. Lots of effort has been made by various organisations, educational, governmental and health related institutions in order to introduce solar cooking programs in villages of Nepal. The parameters, which have influenced the adoption of this technology in Nepal, are also mentioned. The promotion of these cookers in Bhutanese Refugees Camps will also be briefed. Various awareness programs and the government subsidy program are playing considerable role in dissemination of such technologies. The promotional activities, with the objective of mass awareness, have long term effect and will lead to the sustainability of the solar cooking programs. Continued efforts to create awareness, development of models as well as proper promotion and dissemination are required. Key words: Solar Energy, Solar Parabolic Cooker (SK-14), Promotion, Uses, Nepal

1. NEPAL- AN INTRODUCTION
Nepal is a small country squeezed between China and India. Hills and mountains are Nepal's main topographical characteristics and occupy about 75% of the total land. Ecologically, the country is divided into three major regions-the mountains, the hills and the terai (plain). The country's remoteness, its inhospitable, mountainous terrain, and its susceptibility to natural disaster hamper growth of the economy. Nepal's 90% of population live in the rural areas. Agriculture dominates the economy, contributing to about 40% in the overall GDP of Nepal and providing employment to more than 80% of the economically active population. Nine of the 14 highest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest (8,848-m/29,028 ft), are located either wholly or partially in the country. The resulting geographic isolation has hindered Nepal's natural-resource development and economic growth. The mountains create a formidable barrier to development, communication, and transport in Nepal. Nepal has nine National Parks and four Wildlife Reserves that protect every significant ecological system in the country. (Encarta 2000) Area- 140,797 sq km (54,362 sq mi) Capital and largest city- Kathmandu Population - 22.09 million (1996 estimate) Life Expectancy at Birth - 53 years Religion- Hinduism (about 90 per cent of the population) Gross National Product - about US$4,400 million

Per Capita - US$200 Major Economic Activities -agriculture, small-scale industries and tourism Currency-US$1 equals to Nepalese rupees 75 (year 2001) Major Natural Resources- hydropower and medicinal plants

2. ENERGY SENARIO :
Hydropower and biomass constitute the major sources of energy of Nepal. Although the country has a large hydro potential of about 83,000 MW (25% of it is considered technically feasible), only about 250 MW is presently utilised meeting only 1% of the total energy requirements. Nepal has no proven significant deposit of fossil fuels such as oil and coal; therefore it relies heavily on traditional energy sources. About 8% of the commercial energy requirements are met from the imported fossil fuels spending about 40% of the foreign exchange earnings. The source of cooking energy in Nepal is mainly wood, agricultural residue and animal waste in rural areas and a combination of wood, kerosene, LPG and electricity in urban and semi-urban areas. Over the years, Nepal has experienced a growing demand for both modern and traditional owing to the increasing population, deforestation and migration. Most tap and well water is usually not safe to drink. Hence, a lot of fuel is consumed while boiling water. The increasing number of tourists and trekkers are now one of the major sources of income and many people are engaged in running hotels, lodges, restaurants, and teashops resulting in an increasing demand for fuel. This has resulted in increased fuel rates, fuel shortages, power shortages. The fuelwood scarcity is very crucial to rural women in Nepal. Most of the rural women cook food on an open fire at the kitchen floor using iron tripod, odan. The traditional cooking method has affected the health of the women and children due to the indoor smoke pollution in the kitchen. Rural women and girls spend about 6 hours per day in fuelwood and fodder collection. Heavy dependence on fuelwood as major source of cooking energy has caused rapid forest degradation adding longer hours to collect scarce fuelwood. On the other hand, Nepal has a high potential for harnessing solar energy. The average insolation is around 4.5 kWh/m2/day and the sunshine for about 300 days per year. (HMG/N 1997) In this context, application of renewable energy such as solar energy could play a major role in the overall energy scene.

3. SOLAR PARABOLIC COOKER ( SK-14)-A BRIEF BACKGROUND :
Dr.Ing.Dieter Seifert, designed the solar parabolic cooker (SK-14). The solar parabolic cooker has a reflecting surface in the form of a parabolic dish, which concentrates the solar rays at a focal point at which the black coated cooking pot is placed. Its diameter is 1.4 meter. It consists of 36 reflector sheets made from highly reflective aluminium. These reflectors are fixed to a parabolic shaped metal frame. The reflector is mounted in such a way that it can be easily adjusted towards the direction of the sun. The adjustment should be made after every 2030 minutes. The total weight of a parabolic solar cooker is 20 kg. The aluminium reflectors weight 3 kg. At the bottom of the metal frame four roller wheels are fitted which makes it easy to move around, (EG Solar). The net power of the cooker is approximately 600 watts in good sunshine. Very high temperature (above 300°C) is achieved in this cooker and the quantity of heat delivered to the cooking pot is proportionate to the reflector area. Two litres of water in a sunny day (atmospheric temperature 24°C) takes about 15 minutes to boil. Almost every types of cooking such as boiling, frying, baking can be done in this cooker. Due to its deeply curved parabolic reflectors, the focal point lies inside the dish. This does not allow accidents such as catching fire or injuring one's eyes (EG- Solar). However care should be taken in handling it.

Before removing the cooking pot, the reflector needs to be rotated to the opposite direction of the sunrays, leaving the pot in the shadows. With the help of an alignment pin, it is possible to ascertain if the sunrays are perfectly focused. In order to adjust this, it is necessary to position and move the parabolic dish in such a manner that the shadow of the alignment pins disappears. When the cookers are not in use the reflector is turned upside down to protect it from rain, dust and scratches. The operational instructions and safety rules are taught to the user and an operational manual is given along with the cooker.

4. USE OF SOLAR PARABOLIC COOKERS (SK-14) IN NEPAL:
Household Use: The cooker is being used mainly for cooking most of the Nepalese dishes like Rice, Dal and Curries. Complicated dishes like bean curry, roti (bread), patties, chatamari (pancake), vegetable curries, chicken chilli, pop corns, bread etc. have been successfully prepared by the users. Specially for cooking lentils, the housewives use pressure cookers. It is very interesting to watch the cooker whistle. Parabolic solar cookers are being used not only for cooking, baking but also for pasteurising water to make it safe for drinking without the use of electricity, LPG, kerosene and fuel wood for water pasteurisation. (Shrestha, Vishnu M, 1997).

Business Purposes:
Some ghee and oil shop holders have also been using these cookers to melt ghee (CRT/N August 1998).

In the Hospitals:
The only Community Hospital of Nepal, Dhulikhel Hospital, has been using four SK-14 units to meet their hot water supply. They collect the hot water in an insulated tank and use it when ever necessary specially for bathing the patient. Dental Clinic of Lions Himalaya Patan has also been using SK-14 for disinfecting the surgical equipment and the supply of hot water for the clinical work (CRT/N August 1998).

In Bhutanese Refugees Camp:
Solar cooking activity has been initiated in Bhutanese Refugees Camps, Damak, Jhapa district of Eastern Nepal to fulfil growing energy needs. This initiative has been positive with increased interest of the refugees to adopt the solar cooking technologies. The project is presently undergoing at the three camps namely Beldangi I, Beldangi II ext. and Goldhap. The main objective of the project is to promote and transfer the solar cooking technology to make refugee families less dependent on fuelwood and imported kerosene and to improve their living condition. The other objective is to establish a small workshop and facilitate the local production of solar cookers in the camp and encourage its use by the refugee families (Shrestha Sama, October 1999).

In Trekking Region:
Some lodges in the trekking routes have shown keen interest in this technology but due to the high cost of transportation they have not been able to use this technology. The lodge owners who have been using are satisfied and are fully supporting for the dissemination in their technology. In village named Bamti/Bhandar has the largest number of SK-14 units being used for the household purpose. The local community has shown great interest. The trekking road to the Sagarmatha National Park passes through this area. Some shop holders and lodge owners along the way to the Mount Everest have been using Solar Parabolic Cookers to serve trekkers and tourist with special solar cooked dishes and pasteurised water.

In Schools and Colleges:
Various schools and colleges have SK-14 unit in their laboratory for their research works. Some school children's and teachers also use the SK-14 in school to heat their lunch. 5. EFFORT MADE FROM VARIOUS SECTORS FOR IT'S PROMOTION :

Demonstration:
Number of public demonstrations and awareness campaigns on solar cooking technology was organised by AEPC and CRTN. This has created a strong interest among the general population. During the demonstrations various food items were cooked in the solar cookers. People coming to see the demonstration obtained practical information by observing the use of solar cookers. They observed the water pasteurisation test, possible commercial uses and cooking methods. They also got to taste the solar cooked food. Through brochures, handouts, posters and promotional and training manuals they gained theoretical knowledge as well. These demonstrations have also provided exposure to environmentalist, scientists, women entrepreneur and community leaders on solar cooking. (CRT/N, February 1997)

Number of public demonstrations and awareness campaigns on solar cooking technology was organised by AEPC and CRTN. This has created a strong interest among the general population. During the demonstrations various food items were cooked in the solar cookers. People coming to see the demonstration obtained practical information by observing the use of solar cookers. They observed the water pasteurisation test, possible commercial uses and cooking methods. They also got to taste the solar cooked food. Through brochures, handouts, posters and promotional and training manuals they gained theoretical knowledge as well. These demonstrations have also provided exposure to environmentalist, scientists, women entrepreneur and community leaders on solar cooking. (CRT/N, February 1997)

Educational Programs:
Orientations on solar cookers given to a number of educational institutions have created interest among teachers and students. Various demonstration and solar cooking programs has encouraged students to develop their own study project with innovative designs. This teaching approach was found to be effective and also helped them to understand the importance of renewable energy technologies. One of such educational programs is "Orientation/Demonstration/Education of Solar Cooking Technology for School Students of the Kathmandu Valley" which is initiated by CRTN with the funding support of Lions Hillfswerk fuer Nepal (LHW) e.V, Germany. The main objective of the program is to make the student aware of this environment friendly technology and carry the message regarding its importance. Fifteen high schools have been identified and are in the process of dispatching the SK-14 units. One teacher of each school has been oriented about the technology. The schools that have already taken the units are using the units as well as teaching the students about the concept of this environmental friendly device. (LHWfN/CRT 1999) Engineering students of Xavier College during their course has done research on solar cooking as well but have not yet been able to design the units which can be commercialised but the trend has already started. Many educational programs have been organised to teachers from different districts of Nepal. The main objective of these programs was to orient the teachers on the importance of renewable energy and help them incorporate renewable energy course into the existing educational curriculum at the secondary school level. (DOF/NERL/AEPC-October 1998).

Health Programs
Liver Foundation, Nepal (LFN) has been actively engaged in educating the public on the importance of drinking boiled/pasteurised water to combat water-borne diseases, especially Hepatitis E. However, many people still drink unboiled water to save fuel costs. For that reason, LFN has also advocated the use of solar cookers for pasteurisation of water to make it safe for drinking without the use of electricity, LPG, kerosene and fuel wood for water pasteurisation. (Shrestha, Vishnu M, 1997)

Policy Measures
His Majesty's Government of Nepal, understanding the need and interest shown by the public, made a policy to provide almost 50% subsidy on the parabolic and box solar cookers since fiscal year 1998. This policy is carried out through Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC), Nepal. This government policy has given high priority to the promotion and deployment of solar cooker. The policy has contributed to stimulate the demand of the solar cookers and increase its application in rural and urban areas.

Seminars, Workshop, Media
A series of solar cooking technology seminars, workshops and exhibitions for policy makers, energy experts, personnel from different development and educational institutions and users were held. Organizing a number of promotional and publicity activities inviting the general mass to visit and obtain information on solar energy was encouraged through media such as news papers, Nepal television, radios, and FM.

Training
A number of training on solar cooking has been organised which helped the promotion of solar cookers. Training has mainly emphasised on the concept of solar cooking, its' advantages and disadvantages, fabrication, designs, possible commercial uses, and small business entrepreneurship, operation and maintenance, safety measures, consumer feedback, and cultural and social barriers. Joint Implementation/Clean Development Mechanism (JI/CDM) -Solar Cooker Project A new approach to reduce the CO2-emission by promoting solar cooker (SK-14) has been launched recently in Nepal with the join effort of the inhabitants of Altoetting district in Germany and Centre for Rural Technology, Nepal. Dr. D. Seifert helped CRT/N to initiate this program. CRT/N has recently received 50 units SK-14 on the first lot from Germany under this JI/CDM approach. This approach will strengthen North-South co-operation for popularising the use solar cookers in developing countries such as Nepal for meeting the increasing energy requirements. Use of solar cooker will help reduce the consumption of fuelwood, Kerosene, and other fossil fuels thereby reducing the CO2 emission in the atmosphere.

Estimated annual reduction of CO2 emission through the saving of fuelwood and kerosene from the optimum use of one SK-14 is given below. (Source CRT) · For the calculation of Carbondi-oxide per SK-14 (Considering cooking of food only)
In the use of fuelwood: Useful sunny days/year: 255 days. Average saving of fuelwood/day: 7 Kg. (Average saving of fuelwood per day depends upon different factors like family size, frequency of stove application, types of food being cooked, quality of wood etc. The above data is taken from the field at Pangma VDC of Sankhuwa-Sabha district) \Average saving of CO2/year/Cooker= 7*255*1.83 Kg. = 3267 Kg. Similarly in case of using Kerosene: Useful sunny days/year: 255 days. Average saving of kerosene/day 2.5 liters. (Average saving of kerosene depends upon different factors like family size, frequency of stove application, types of food being cooked etc. The above data is taken from a house in Balaju, Kathmandu) \Average saving of CO2/year/Cooker= 2.5*255*2.4 Kg = 1530 Kg. If this parabolic Cookers are used for commercial purpose (like in Hotels or Lodges in remote areas also, saving of CO2/year/Cooker can go high. (Source: CRT/N).

6. COST OF SK-14 AND INCENTIVES

Around 307 SK-14 has been promoted by CRT/N. Like wise, Solar Power Company and Centre for Renewable Energy (CRE) also promotes this cooker in small amout. The estimated cost break down of SK-14 is as follows. Cost Analysis of Parabolic Solar Cookers (SK-14) in Kathmandu: (Source CRT/N)

Cost SN
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Reflector sheets Stand with wheels, pots and accessories Assembling/Transportation Staff supervision Promotional and market support/ Tax, Duty Profit margin Total

Description Rs|US$
2888|39.2 3035|41.2 415|5.6 442|6 425|5.8 795|10.8 8000|108.6

Remark
Imported from Germany Locally fabricated

His Majesty's Government of Nepal is providing subsidy of Rs. 3750/- i.e. US $ 50.9 and the user is paying Rs. 4250 i.e. US $ 57.7. (Note: US $ 1 = NRs 73.70, Date November 5, 2000).

7. RECOMMENDATION :
Solar cooking should be integrated with other energy saving devices The users should be properly trained to use cookers in various ways and maintain it The users should properly orient on how, where and why to use these cookers Various awareness campaign, training, workshop and demonstration showing enduse application of the cookers to the people is very important The government's support and subsidy incentive, public demonstrations as well as supports by the international experts also plays a very strong role in the promotion of solar cookers Emphasis should also be given for an educational campaign A solar cooker, which is technically mature, cost-efficient and durable, will have more possibilities of being accepted by the target groups Solar cooker promotion should be linked with the financing schemes and the micro-credit programs Hotel, restaurant, inn and lodge owners should be encouraged to use parabolic cookers to pasteurise water, prepare special solar cooked dishes Forestry Project and Environment Project should be encourage to promote solar cooker in their project areas Government should provide transportation incentives to transport cookers to the people in mountain

8. CONCLUSION:
In Nepal the demand for Solar Parabolic Cooker is growing continuously from various sectors. The people has started realising it's importance. There should be more awareness campaign in remote areas. Obviously, Solar Parabolic Cooker (SK-14) is an effective means for cooking and pasteurising water during the sunny days. If these cookers are effectively used, it contributes to reduce consumption of firewood, kerosene and other imported fuels significantly and impart positive impacts on the life style of the people of Nepal.

9. REFERENCES:

1. ENCARTA 2000-11-20 'World English Edition Encyclopædia Deluxe 2000' 2. His Majesty's Government of Nepal (HMG/N), 1999. 'Ministry of Finance, Economic Survey of Fiscal Year 1997-98, Kathmandu' 3. LHWfN, Germany/ Centre for Rural Technology, Nepal (CRT/N), 1999 'Orientation/Demonstration/Education of Solar Cooking Technology for School Students of Kathmandu Valley' 4. Seifert Dieter, October 1999 Joint Implementation/ Clean Development Mechanism (JI/CDM)- Solar Cooker Project in Nepal 5. Shrestha Sama, October 1999 'Promotion of Solar Cooking Activities in Nepal with Special Focus on Bhutanese Refugees Camps, Jhapa', Paper presented at World Solar Cooking and Food Processing, Varese, Italy. 6. International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), May 1998 'Renewable Energy Technologies - A Brighter Future' 7. Shrestha G. R, August 1998 'Some Experiences with Practical Implementation of Solar Photovoltaics from Nepal' Paper presented at Conference on Solar Photovoltaic Power: The Power for Tomorrow, Copenhagen, Denmark' 8. Centre for Rural Technology, Nepal (CRT/N), August 1998 'Monitoring Report on Dissemination of Solar Cookers in Kathmandu Valley' 9. U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE)/National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)/Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC), October 1998 'Teacher's Workshop on Renewable Energy, Kathmandu, Nepal' 10. His Majesty's Government of Nepal (HMG/N), 1997 'Nepal Meteorological Service, Sunshine Hours' 11. Centre for Rural Technology, Nepal (CRT/N), February 1997 'Report on Solar Energy Demonstration at Durbar Square, Kathmandu' 12. Shrestha, Vishnu M., 1997 'Water Pasteurisation with Solar Energy', The Workshop on Viral Hepatitis' 13. Shrestha Sama, October 1997 'Teaching and Training Communities of Kathmandu Valley in the use of Solar Parabolic Cooker (SK-14)', Paper presented at ISREE-6, New-Delhi, India. 14. Ligtenberg, Allart, 1993 'Solar Trekking and other Dissemination Strategies Experiences in Nepal.' Friendly Appropriate Solar Technologies, California, USA' 15. EG Solar e.V, 'Technical Manual SK 14, Neuottinger Str.64 C, D-84503 Altotting, Germany' 16. Rijal, K., 1984 'Availability of Solar Energy in Nepal, Water and Energy Commission Secretariat, Kathmandu' Photographs: Personal collection and from ANSAB, CRT/N


				
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