Improved Solar PV powered cooker with integrated thermal storage


"Half a billion people could be pushed into poverty as economies around the world shrink because of the coronavirus outbreak, a new study has warned. Poverty levels in developing countries could be set back by up to 30 years, research released by the United Nations University's World Institute for Development Economics Research." 9th April 2020
Almost 3.7 billion people in the world use biomass for cooking, which 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 and girls. For decades the dominant policy on cooking energy has been to improve the combustion efficiency of biomass fuels. This policy has broadly failed and the dispersal of improved cookstoves is not keeping up with population growth. 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 too expensive and the second is culturally difficult involving changes to people's established cooking patterns.
The project will explore a third option by building and testing a low carbon, low cost, secure cooking energy solution, which uses a vacuum insulated heat storage block charged from solar PV.
Pumped Heat, a UK SME, have developed and patented a game changing thermal storage material that has multiple applications worldwide. This project will help to protect and create UK jobs and world class expertise in the rapidly growing field of energy storage. It will also support the UK's leading role in development of a clean cooking solution for the world.

The original project has allowed us to build and test an insulated clean cooker that has hit all of the technical targets needed in terms of cooking power, insulation losses, and energy stored. This first cooker is being tested by a partner organisation in Kenya. The extension to this project will allow the build and testing of five further cookers. Two cookers will be tested in Kenya by a for-profit social enterprise that promotes a wide range of cleaner cooking solutions. The remaining three units will remain in the UK for more structured and technical testing of performance and demonstration to philanthropic investors..

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