Environment Fellowship of Rotarians - Bulletin Board

Solar cooking in Tibet
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Author:  kappenberger [ Thu 7. Oct 2010, 16:20 ]
Post subject:  Solar cooking in Tibet

Solar cooking in Tibet
The rural population of the Tibetan Plateau relies heavily on biomass fuels, especially dung and wood, for cooking and heating. These fuels cause indoor air pollution, contribute to climate change, and perpetuate gender inequality because girls spend long hours collecting fuel while boys attend school.
One Earth Designs (OED), a U.S.-based nonprofit organization, has developed a novel solar device to reduce reliance on these fuels in this region. The device, called the SolSource 3-in-1, not only enables rural communities to harness the sun’s energy for portable solar cooking, but for space heating and electricity generation as well. High-temperature parabolic solar cookers are currently available and used in Himalayan communities. However, they are often made out of mirror-lined concrete shells that are heavy and breakable. Many nomadic villagers shared with OED a desire for parabolic solar cookers that are portable enough to be taken into the fields while working or tending flocks, but sturdy enough to withstand the harsh winds of the Tibetan Plateau.
OED worked with rural communities in the Himalayan region to design the SolSource 3-in-1 according to these local needs and with local materials when feasible. The first module cooks food and pasteurizes water. Its high focal temperature enables traditional cooking that relies primarily on stir-frying and boiling water for tea and tsampa. A second module collects and stores heat for later use in the home. A third module generates and stores about 20 watts of thermo-electricity per hour.
The SolSource 3-in-1 has been recognized for its innovative design by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Yunus Innovation Challenge, the Clinton Global Initiative, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Web: www.oneearthdesigns.org

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