hrgshimla@hrg.org.in
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Energy Conservation & Use of Solar Energy
The level and pattern of energy consumption in any region or country is considered an index of its standard of living and developments. Most of the total energy consumed by the rural population in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) consists of non-commercial fuels, mainly fuel wood collected free of cost from forests and agriculture fields. On account of limited resources the rural areas are facing grave energy crisis and high dependence on fuel wood poses a potential threat to the ecology and health of household inmates. Climate remains cold for 6-8 months in most part of the IHR region. The practice of burning fuel wood in the traditional kitchen with open stove serves three objectives of cooking, water heating and space heating. Family members leave kitchen only when they go to bed.

Passive solar design of houses offers better solutions for reducing energyconsumption in rural areas of the state. This design is a modification blended with modern material(Glass and fiber glass) to trap maximum solar energy for warming the houses backed with scientific principal. HRG has done extensive work on designing, short listing of material for fabrication and training of the rural artisan. Thermosyphoning Air Heating Panel, Sun space and Trombe wall were installed in individual house. Preliminary observations revealed that Thermosyphoning panel was able to heat the air at 58oC when room temperature was around 18 oC. Similarly, the Trombe Wall and Sun Space were able to increase the Temperature of living space/room 18 oC to 27 oC.

Data loggers were installed to monitor the effectiveness of the retrofitting in more effective and precise manner and analysis was used to understand the reduction in usage of fuel wood and carbon emissions. This is the effective technology to reduce household emissions and women drudgery....