Off-Grid solar cooker storing renewable solar PV (input via resistive wire) and output via direct hot plate.
Almost 4 billion people in the world use biomass cooking. This creates a burden that includes:
- Health hazards (respiratory illnesses and burns)
- Increased deforestation
- Spending a large proportion of income on fuel
- Time spent collecting fuels and reduced educational opportunities for women
For decades the dominant policy on energy for cooking has been to improve the combustion efficiency of biomass fuels. This policy has broadly failed and little improvement in efficiency has been noticed.
Proposals have been made for alternative approaches using electrical cooking either from batteries + solar PV (e-cook) or from electrically powered low energy pressure cookers. The first of these has proved expensive and the second is culturally difficult as it involves changing people's established cooking habits. The availability of such alternative cookstoves is not keeping up with population growth and has meant that this problem is getting worse.
The Pumped Heat Solar Cooker offers a third option for a low carbon, low cost, secure cooking energy solution. The Pumped Heat Solar Cooker uses an innovative insulated heat storage block which is charged from solar PV. The combination of low cost and the ability of more traditional stove-top cooking means this has the potential for global use to replace biomass cooking.
Pumped Heat Solar Cooker with 500W solar panel in remote off-grid house