Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday attended the ‘ONGC Solar Chulha Challenge’ exhibition, aimed at developing cost-effective and efficient solar power stove systems.
The challenge was in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to provide safe and low-cost alternatives for clean household cooking.
The challenge was created after Prime Minister Modi urged the ONGC to foster the development of ‘Efficient Electric Chulha (Stove)’ that could provide a smoke-free kitchen to the mothers in each and every part of the country, while inaugurating ONGC’s Corporate Office Deendayal Urja Bhawan in September 2017.
“This innovation would significantly impact the nation’s dependence on imported fuel in one stroke,” the Prime Minister had said.
Five finalist teams of the ONGC Solar Chulha Challenge, representing both academia as well as industry, displayed their functional solar chulha prototypes in the exhibition. Pradhan visited the stall and interacted with the participants to understand the technology and showed a keen interest in the innovations that the participants exhibited.
“Efforts should be made to improvise the technology further and make it available at affordable cost. Integrated solar systems should also be developed which can provide multi-purpose utility,” he said.
Pradhan also felicitated the winners of the Solar Chulha Challenge.
The challenge had received an overwhelming response with over 1500 applications. An expert panel of scientists and industry experts headed by Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission evaluated the applications.
Thirteen applications were shortlisted by the panel during their first meeting on January 6. These teams were then invited to present their proposals to the expert panel during its second meeting on February 24, after which the panel selected the finalists with proposals from both Solar Photovoltaic and Solar Thermal-based systems.
To promote this national endeavour, ONGC might also provide monetary support to manufacture about 1000 units and further procure these 1000 units for a demonstration in different regions across the nation, through its Rs 100 crore ONGC Startup Fund that that is aimed at fostering, nurturing and incubating new ideas related to the energy sector.