“Muni Seva Ashram is an active agent in the drive for sustainable development, with large-scale interests in organic farming, agro forestry, horticulture, animal husbandry, solar energy, and biogas. This is also reflected in the Ashram’s new website address, Green Ashram.org
Over the years, the Ashram had made a sustained effort to use modern technologies to reduce the use of conventional resources. Some of the Ashram’s efforts towards promoting the use of renewable energy are:
• Heating Water: Solar flat plate collectors are used to heat 31,000 liters of water that is used everyday at the Ashram’s kitchens, guest houses, and hospitals.
o Meals for 200 students of Sharda Mandir Baxi Punch School is cooked using 2 Scheffler dishes of 10m2 each
o At the Green Campus in Vankuva, lunch and dinner for 400 students is cooked using 10 Scheffler dishes of 10m2 each, and thermic oil as a heat carrier.
o Box solar cookers and SK10/14 parabolic solar cookers are also used for domestic cooking and demonstrations.
o The students of the schools in Vankuva assembled and showcased the Celestino funnel solar cookers at this year’s VCCI Vibrant Gujarat Trade Summit.
• Solar Photovoltaic Systems:
o Since grid power was not available when Green Campus was being built, a 13KW solar power plant was installed to meet the lighting and ventilation demands of the schools and hostels.
o Most of the street lights at the Ashram are automatic, self-contained solar photovoltaic systems (with panels mounted on the light poles)
o A system of 100 Scheffler dishes of 12.5m2 each meets 100 of the 600 Tonne Refrigeration (TR) required by the two hospitals in the Ashram. This is the first solar air-conditioning system of its kind in India.
o Previously, when the supply of power from the grid was not steady, the entire air-conditioning system was based on Vapour Absorption Chillers that used wood and other biomass sourced from the farm or from nearby markets.
o The biogas plant at the Ashram’s Gaushala also uses kitchen waste to generate gas which is piped across the road to the kitchens in the Ashram
o The biogas produced at Green Campus through cow dung is piped to three homes for domestic use
o Another 430m3 biogas plant, fuelled by cow dung, press mud from sugar mills, chicken litter, and kitchen waste, produces the gas that is enriched by scrubbing and is bottled under pressure. This compressed natural gas, or Bio-CNG, fulfills the needs of the Ashram’s main kitchen located in its guest house, Athiti Mandir.
• Biomass Gasifier:
o For irrigation pumps at Green Campus, electricity is produced by an internal combustion engine that is fuelled by producer gas generated by partial combustion of biomass.
o Another 90KW engine in Utilities also runs on producer gas
o The Muni Seva Ashram was the first in Gujarat to install a gasifier that runs entirely on producer gas”
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