New Solar Cooker Could Greatly Improve Health In ‘Developing World’

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Here’s an exciting story about a promising-looking solar cooker that could significantly improve (and even save) the lives of people in the developing world, via Solar Love.

A new solar cooker design, capable of cooking food, purifying water, and powering small electronics, has just been developed by researchers at Cranfield University and COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad.

Image Credit: Cranfield University
Image Credit: Cranfield University
A large number of people living in the ‘developing world’ don’t have a reliable, or cheap enough, means to heat their food and purify their water, and as a result, many people are regularly sickened/die from it. The new solar cooker should help to remedy this, according to the researchers, improving the health of many of the people living in rural communities around the world.

The new design is based around the use of “a system of mirrored strips tilted at different angles to concentrate sunlight onto an ‘absorber’ which converts the sun’s energy into useable heat. The process is known as ‘concentrating solar power’ (CSP)” — a process very familiar to those with an interest in solar energy technology. Cranfield University is widely considered to be home to the best CSP research team in the UK.

Cranfield University’s Dr Chris Sansom, the UK’s leading expert on concentrating solar power, said this about the new design: “This is a very exciting project as there are many areas of the world where solar cookers and water purifiers could impact significantly on people’s quality of life.”

In addition to being able to cook food and purify water, the new solar cooker is capable of storing heat and could generate electricity — potentially powering mobile and small-scale electronic devices, such as periodic air conditioning.

“The solar cooker was developed by COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad, with expertise from Cranfield University. It was funded by the Government of Pakistan, who recognised the need to improve the lives of those living in the remote regions of Pakistan.”

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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9 thoughts on “New Solar Cooker Could Greatly Improve Health In ‘Developing World’

  • Very interesting technology, but useless article.

    It doesn’t contain any details about the technology other than the cryptic “system of mirrored strips tilted at different angles to concentrate sunlight onto an ‘absorber'”. I come to CleanTechnica to learn things, not waste my time on blabla.

    How does it generate electricity? Solar cell? Stirling engine? Thermocouple? How does it purify water? Reverse osmosis? Evaporation & condensation? How do you select each mode of operation or can it do all at once? What materials are used? How much does it cost to produce? Can it be produced in the developing world? Does it need maintenance? Is it hard to operate? How much water can it purify per day?

    Sorry, this is thus plain lazy reporting.

    • Ah, Solar, I just love this kind of thing. Don’t shoot the messenger relaying such brilliant news.

      • If the messenger cannot express the message very clearly, he at least deserves a kick in the behind.

    • I have to agree, while many of the articles contain good information. There have been more than a few of late that don’t contain anything useful pass the Institute name.

    • Seconded. The article just reproduces an inadequate press release that doesn’t even link to a page with more information.

      Solar cookers sound good to idealistic First World researchers but less so to the Third Worlders who are supposed to adopt them. The devices are driven by cool technology not by local needs and constraints (eg, robustness and easy repairability). When a Third World organisation like Grameen with a track record in the field develops or adopts one, then we should pay attention.

      • I also hate this rephrased press releases. Cleantechnica “reporters” have their heart at the right place, but they seem to be too shy, impatient or lazy to contact the original researchers or other experts and actually ask questions. How hard is it to google an email address and send out an email with some questions?

  • Sorry Nathan…I have to agree with the other posters…

Comments are closed.