Tirumala temple going greener way - uses solar and wind power

24 Jul 2010, Comments: | Views: 6056 | | Category: Tirupati, Energy

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Solar Heaters at Tirumala Temple

Tirumala Tirupati  temple the abode of Lord Venkateswara is going the greener way . The temple is very famous pilgrimage place of India situated on a hill top (Venkatachalam) in Andhra Pradesh State and is visited on an average by 70,000 pilgrims daily. Given the mammoth number of pilgrims visiting and staying there, power requirement is high. There are many restaurants, cottages , hotels, rest rooms etc.  It is almost like a small city ruled by the Lord . May be due to the power and influence of God or something else the adaption of green technologies is praise worthy on the temple hill unlike the slower tendency for non- conventional sources of energy in the rest of the  country.

Tirumala is relying entirely on clean energy to feed over 70,000 people everyday. The temple has installed solar powered lights, solar cooking system, windmills and a water recycling station.From gardening to cooking, only non-conventional sources of energy are now being used in the temples of Tirupati. The temple has installed solar powered lights, solar cooking system, windmills and a water recycling station. "The basic principle is conversion of water into steam energy. We're converting the solar energy into steam energy. The water flows through the pipes and the solar dishes concentrate the solar energy to the concentrators. In the concentrators the water is converted into steam and that steam is utilised for cooking," says Deputy Executive Engineer (Mechanical) KV Raman Rao.

The system designed to produce over 4000 kgs of steam/day at 180 degree centigrade and 10 kg/sq cm is adequate to cook two meals for approximately 15,000 persons. Its installation was accomplished in September 2002 and was launched on 11th October 2002.It cost just Rs 1 crore 8 years ago to set up the system of 106 solar dishes that use solar energy to convert water into steam, which is then used for all the cooking. It saves Tirupati 1.2 lakh litres of diesel every year. Nearly 50,000 kilos of rice along with sambhar and rasam are cooked in the kitchens of Tirumala every day of the year without using conventional gas.  Instead it's the steam produced by the non-conventional solar cooking system that reaches the kitchen through the pipes that's used for cooking. The chefs say that it takes less than 20 minutes to cook an entire meal. No wonder that this system is the chefs’ favourite "Since we started using this system, our work is easier and quicker. It's much better than gas which took much longer. We've been using this for more than 8-9 years and we are really comfortable with it," says Tirumala chef Goravaiyya Rao.

It is not just the sun alone as Tirumala uses wind and water effectively too. The windmills on the hill ensure that the temple town is able to meet a some part of the power requirement by itself.

"From the wind energy, I'm getting around 140 lakh units. TTD's requirements per year are 350 lakh units. That means that 40-45 per cent of the energy required by TTD is coming from its non-conventional sources," points out Divisional Engineer (Electrical) M Ravishankar Reddy.Tirumala also has a water recycling station that purifies all waste water which is then re-used in the temple city's gardens. Even the street lamps going up the Tirumala hill are solar powered. With even the temples now going green perhaps it is time for humans to follow. 

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