The world’s largest solar powered steam stove is now operating in Shirdi, India. The solar powered steam stove at the Shirdi Sai Baba Shrine will be used to cook food for Hindu and Muslim pilgrims. The system can produce 3,500kg (7,716lbs) of steam daily, enough to feed 20,000 people.
Costing an estimated Rs13.3million (279,000 US$), with a government subsidy of Rs5.84million (122,800US$), the renewable energy system will save around 100 tons (98.4tons) of liquid petroleum gas annually.
At Shirdi Sai Baba Shrine, 40 parabolic concentrators project the incident sun energy onto heat exchangers that raise the water temperature up to 650°C of steam. The 40 dishes track the sun path throughout the day via an automatic timer mechanism after the initial position is set in the morning. As the water is heated, it draws in cooler water so the system does not require an electric pump. A separate boiler heats the water on overcast or rainy days.
Other similar systems that cook food for tens of thousands of people are installed in Mount Abu (Rajasthan), Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh) and Satyabhama University (Chennai), India.