MIT Professor Invents New Solar Technology Capable Of Storing 25 Hours Of Energy For Cooking

Professor David Wilson has developed a new solar technology that is capable of storing energy from the sun to be used when the sun is not available.

Without energy, we cannot cook our food. Especially in developing countries where energy is scarce, the population relies on traditional methods to harness energy for cooking.
In the rural areas, residents use firewood and charcoal for cooking. This however, comes with a huge cost, resulting in issues like respiratory illnesses and deforestation. Women who go to the bush in search of firewood and charcoal are sometimes exposed to dangerous wild animals, and even sexual assaults from unscrupulous people.
These problems demand immediate solutions. In many developing countries, especially in sub-Sahara Africa, the sun is available all year round. In the past, inventors have developed solar cooking devices to help solve the suffering of the rural folk. However, these devices cannot store energy, instead, only working when the sun is available during the day. During the night, or on a cloudy or rainy day, it becomes useless. No energy is available to power it.
But a professor from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, United States has figured out how to make solar cooking devices effective during day and night, irrespective of weather conditions.

Professor David Wilson has developed a new solar technology that is capable of storing energy from the sun. His invention will significantly benefit developing nations who depend on wood for cooking. Mr Wilson’s technology has begun testing in rural areas in Africa. The results are said to be encouraging.
It is said Professor Wilson’s technology concept harnesses the sun, storing the latent heat for cooking for up to twenty-five hours at temperatures of above 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The technology uses a Fresnel lens to hold the sun’s energy to melt a container of lithium nitrate, which then acts as a thermal-storing battery. Afterwards, the heat is released for cooking outdoors.

According to Professor Wilson, this idea occurred to him after he visited Nigeria. While in Nigeria, Wilson realized that storing energy presented a big challenge to the country, and women have to travel many kilometers in the bush to gather firewood to cook. Meanwhile, Nigeria has an abundance of sunlight. When Professor Wilson returned from Nigeria, he developed a technology that can use the energy from the sun for cooking, and at the same time, stores the energy for future use. This makes his invention unique, setting it apart from existing solar cooking devices.

“There are a lot of solar cookers out there, but surprisingly not many using latent-heat storage as an attribute to cook the food.  There have been solar cookers, grills, and ovens made before, but they all had to be used during the day to function,” Wilson said about what he has created.

Professor Wilson is also supervising a group of MIT students who are developing his technology for a prototype solar grill. The idea is to develop a grill that will store energy from the sun, which can then be used for grilling meat and other foods, even when the sun is not available. If the prototype proves successful, the team will then assess the potential of launching a business to manufacture it in bulk.

Generally, Professor Wilson and his students are hoping to create a business model for selling their amazing solar cookers for developing nations. They will also create a solar grill for the American market.

With the solar grill, the environment will be free from harm. Whether you use wood chips, charcoal, or propane for grilling, it releases emissions and creates poor air quality. This is why Professor Wilson’s invention is so important.
Clean energy advocates hope that more researchers will think progressively, in order to develop the full potential of the renewable energy sector, thus further saving humanity and the environment from destruction.

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