Solar thermal route
In the early eighties CSR coordinated the effort of promoting solar box cookers within the community.
The first solar cookers were mass purchased from
state cooperative stores where they were lying unsold. Even damaged
solar box cookers were acquired and repaired within Auroville. The success
was instantaneous, and solar cooker enthusiasts exchanged recipes and
tips. The use slowed down with the advent of a growing population which
had more access to bottled gas.
Manufacturing, marketing and enquiries through Aureka
Solar water heating systems
The first solar water heating systems were home
made, and installed and maintained by the owners.
Solar curing systems
While working to develop prefabricated ferrocement biogas plants, CSR experimented with passive solar curing systems consisting of fixed curing trays and mobile curing hoods which were placed on top of the elements to be cured. The results were extraordinary in terms of curing.
Elements were fully cured with the help of the sun and some water in the trays. No mechanised device or labour input was necessary anymore. Prefabricated elements were placed under a curing device, while obtaining their full element strength during a 15 day curing cycle.
The mobile systems were later replaced by a permanent device called a curing tunnel, which is a permanent building with provision for fitting in huge water tanks, fitted with airtight doors, while the floor is flooded with water in which the elements stand for the full curing period.
Marketing and enquiries through Auroville Building Centre.
Solar drying systems
Solar drying systems are home made, and are operational in houses and food processing units for drying fruits, melting jaggery, etc.
Auroville promotes and produces a whole range of
solar concentrators to cater to various needs.
Manufacturing, marketing and enquiries through Aurore Systems and Products
Solar bowl concentrator at the Solar Kitchen
A 15 meter diameter solar bowl is installed and operates at the Solar Kitchen to produce sufficient steam (600kg) to cook 2,000 meals on clear days.
The system operates with a fixed spherical reflector made out of prefabricated ferrocement elements, fitted together and lined with 11,000 flat mirror facets.
The moveable receiver is a 4 m long and 23 cm diameter
wide structure kept in focus through a computerized tracking system.
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