Subsistence Solar Heater

This is not particularly new technology but it is perhaps getting the marketing boost it needs. I also think that we can count on modern communications to keep the interest up in the natural market areas.

The value of this device is to displace a lot of charcoal out of the heating market. The device itself is up to the task of producing boiled water and that means hot beverages and also the production of stews. It may not seem like a lot, but if you are dependent on charcoal, that is most of your cooking energy on a given day A frugal cook is likely to be able to reduce charcoal use several fold.

Stripping forests for charcoal at the subsistence level that we are dealing with is never well done and is often unsustainable. We talk about the goats clearing of the forests of the Sahara. Before the goats finished the job, I am sure humanity hacked down the brush and trees for charcoal. It all goes on as if nothing has changed even today.

This is an incredibly simple device easily fabricated, packaged and shipped to the customers. Let us hope that this is enough to get it into the market place.

$6.60 Solar Cooker Wins Financial Times Climate Change Contest
Written by Megan Treacy
Thursday, 09 April 2009

In a beautiful marriage of high function and very low cost, a $6.60 solar cooker called the Kyoto Box won the Financial Times Climate Change Contest and $75,000 from Hewlett-Packard to get the idea into production.

Kyoto Box is made from insulating two cardboard boxes, one stacked inside the other, with straw or newspaper, placing foil inside the first box and then painting the inside of the second box black. An acrylic cover tops off the design.

The very simple and cheap design is already being produced in Nairobi and the maker Jon Bøhner hopes that it will cut down on the use of firewood for cooking, which would slow deforestation and reduce carbon emissions and indoor pollution throughout Africa. The box can boil 10 liters of water in two hours for cooking or for purifying.

Other simple designs that made it to the final round of the contest include a garlic-based feed supplement that would reduce the methane in cow "emissions" and a wheel cover for delivery trucks that would boost efficiency by decreasing drag.

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