Now South Indian Food-Idlis, Powered by The Sun

In a country like India, the potential of solar energy is so immense that if harnessed optimally, every energy-dependent sector would be able to minimise its fossil fuel consumption and as a result, keep its carbon footprint under check.

Setting a great example in the hospitality sector are pilgrimage sites like Tirupati, Mount Abu and Shirdi, where the implementation of mega-scale solar steam cooking systems is helping feed thousands of pilgrims and tourists who visit these places on a daily basis.

To think of it, imagine piping hot, fluffy idlis which have been steamed by the sun!

Well, a Kerala-based firm that specialises in solar solutions has devised a contraption that utilises solar energy to cook idli and other steamed food items! Based in Kochi, Kraftwork Solar manufactures a variety of solar-powered products such as water heaters, dryers and photovoltaic (PV) systems and has been in the solar industry for two decades.

The innovation found great appreciation during the ‘Akshay Urja Utsav’ conducted by the Agency for Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT) last week in Thiruvananthapuram where similar solar and renewable energy harnessing innovations were exhibited.

“The steamers, which are connected to the ‘idli oven’, are powered by parabolic reflectors that direct sunlight to a small area, to generate steam for cooking. The device can reach a temperature of 130° Celsius, and one can even heat oil using it,” says KN Iyer, the managing director of Kraftwork.

Kraftwork is among various firms that have been empanelled by ANERT under its ‘Go Solar’ initiative. The design of the cooker is currently awaiting approval from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).