Ray of Hope

The Sun in the Kitchen
Photo: Prashanth Vishwanathan/UNDP India

As you enter the premises of SKS Industries in Mysore, Karnataka, you can’t help noticing the enormous amount of natural light filtering through the building almost from every corner. The giant lobby and canteen is entirely glass-paned, a translucent white sheet forms the lobby ceiling. To the typical urban Indian, the thing that really hits home is what a lot of use sunlight can be put to: and that’s exactly what SKF, a global supplier of lubrication systems is trying to do.

Its not just in its interior that the enterprise has innovated. Looking further out the windows and you can catch a glimpse of giant solar reflectors on the roof that connect to a solar parabolic trough-based solar process heating application system. Installed in 2012, it’s the first time compounding parabolic concentrators technology has been demonstrated in the country.

KF Technologies uses steam generated through this installation in the phosphating process of manufacturing seals, the fastest growing business division of the company in India. It allows the plant to replace thermal energy with solar, save on almost 12,000 litres of diesel each year or close to US$ 13,000 annually. In addition, it is also saving on CO2 emissions of 32 tonnes annually.

Highlights

  • UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India is promoting the use of concentrated solar heating technology in a range of industries, commercial, religious and philanthropic institutions as an alternative to fossil fuel.
  • In 2012, the project provided support to SKF Technologies (India) Pvt. Ltd in Mysore, Karnataka in setting up solar heating system in their plant resulting in a saving of almost 12,000 litres of diesel each year or close to US$ 13,000 annually.
  • By using this technology, CO2 emissions of 32 tonnes is saved annually.
  • Over the last two years, the rate of installation of solar concentrated heating systems has more than doubled in India.
  • Over the next three years, the project aims to install 45,000 square metres of concentrated solar technology based systems across India saving 39,200 tonnes of CO2 emissions and 3.15 million litres of fuel oil each year.
  • The project is financed by the Global Environment Facility.

The solar heating system was supported through a partnership between the United Nations Development Programme and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India which promotes the use of concentrated solar heating technology in a range of industries, commercial establishments, religious and philanthropic institutions, replacing fossil fuels. The project is financed by the Global Environment Facility.


Over the last two years, the rate of installation of solar concentrated heating systems has more than doubled. Over the next three years, the project aims to install 45,000 square metres of concentrated solar technology based systems across India saving 39,200 tonnes of CO2 emissions saving 3.15 million litres of fuel oil each year.

At SKS, 40 parabolic trough concentrators track the sun automatically, concentrating the sun light on receiver tubes where the high temperature is generated. The solar thermal system is integrated with the conventional fuel fired system maximizing use of solar energy and ensuring that the closed loop system used in conjunction with diesel heating system,  is able to automatically switch to solar, when the sun is available.

“Solar is an infinite source of energy and with India having such vast reserves of it, it must be tapped into,” says Seetharaman, SKF Head.  

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Photo: Prashanth Vishwanathan/UNDP India

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