Solar Alternatives and Associated Programs

Solar Alternatives and Associated Programs (SAAP) is a nonprofit organization in the Indian state of Bihar that produces solar devices, to save trees and to provide a dependable energy supply. Founded in 1996 by Jesuit Bro. MM Mathew, SAAP uses the “solar bridge” technology developed in Germany by Wolfgang Scheffler . SAAP has filled orders for various applications of this technology in eighteen states across India. [4]

Beginnings and purpose

MM Mathew, SJ , Tarumitra (“Friends of Trees”). [5] He went on to Gujarat in early 1996 to study renewable energy under Wolfgang Scheffler , the inventor of the solar concentrated Scheffler community cooker. Mathew then, with the support of Patna Jesuits, was founded at St. Mary’s in Patna . The Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources (MNES) approved this venture for use in the country, and engineers from Germany and Switzerland assisted. [6]

A vocational training program affiliated with the National Institute of Open Schooling was also set up. [7] Among its initiatives the school trains around 15 students in a free year, half from the USA and UK, using solar energy. It also provides local people and advice at no charge. [8]

In 2014 SAAP hosted a group of students from the University of Dayton in the United States who focused on solar panels in rural areas, where loss of power causes vaccines to be ruined by the heat. [9] These strudents from Dayton took what they learned back to the United States and produced a solar-powered refrigerator that won the American Society of Civil Engineers’2016 award for the best sustainable engineering design by a student team. [10]


The range of products produced by SAAP, mainly with Scheffler reflectors, includes solar electricity, cookers, hot water, steam for turbines, and refrigerators. “Solar Mathew”, as he is popularly known, [2] also produces at its training and production facility heat storage devices and multipurpose windmills. SAAP has installed four solar tunnel dryers in the North-East for various local self-help groups to preserve and export chillies and ginger throughout the year. The research and development wing of SAAP has developed a prototype solar-powered cycle rickshaw. [6] [11] SAAP has also developed a cost-effective option for the poor. [12] For much of this SAAP is the sole fabricator in Bihar state.[3]

Tripolia Social Service Hospital, a private charitable hospital in Patna, SAAP solar technology, sanitize the hospital’s laundry, thermal water for baths and medicines, light outdoor pathways at night, and power a residential building and office. The solar dishes track the movement of the sun. [2]


  1. Jump up^ India Mart. Accessed 16 July 2016.
  2. ^ Jump up to:c Greenpeace, Case Studu Two, pp. 22-36. Accessed 16 July 2016.
  3. ^ Jump up to:b “Solar Alternatives and Associated Programs (SAAP), Patna” . . Retrieved 2017-02-21 .
  4. Jump up^ “Bringing sunshine to their lives” . 2009-11-29 . Retrieved 2017-02-21 .
  5. Jump up^ “Sunshine man” . Retrieved 2017-02-21 .
  6. ^ Jump up to:b “The Tribune, Chandigarh, India – Tribune Education” . . Retrieved 2017-02-21 .
  7. Jump up^ “Solar Alternatives and Associated Programs” . Solar Cooking . Retrieved 2017-02-21 .
  8. Jump up^ “Church Priests Solar Power Mantra” . The Telegraph . Retrieved 2017-02-21 .
  9. Jump up^ “Patna, India: University of Dayton, Ohio” . . Retrieved 2017-02-21 .
  10. Jump up^ “Dayton Students’ Solar Refrigerator Breakthrough ASCE Earnings Sustainability Award | ASCE News” . . Retrieved 2017-02-21 .
  11. Jump up^ Mathukutty (2011-06-25). “solarwala: different solar equipments” . solarwala . Retrieved 2017-02-21 .
  12. Jump up^ “Jesuit priest planning to set up solar crematorium in Patna” . Thaindian News . Retrieved 2017-02-21 .

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