Solar Powered Kitchens

Solar power is being touted as one of the best renewable energy sources available today. Now I am definitely not gung-ho on renewable energy as it is intermittent at best, requires a large amount of space, is generally uneconomical, and does not satisfy anyone. On that last point, note that the right doesn’t like it for its cost, and the fact that governments are forcing it upon us, and the left doesn’t like it because even tho they heavily promote it, they really just want us to reduce our lifestyle and economy and to stall these projects they always find SOME flora or fauna that is endangered and apparently the earth just cannot live without.

But there are ways to go about collecting solar energy that are useful, clean and importantly economical. For instance, take this shrine in Shirdi, India. They feed 100,000 people a day (can’t even imagine cooking for that many!) and they use a total of 73 solar dishes on the roof of the building (no animals to endanger!) which heat the water as high as 650 degrees Celsius (1202 degrees Fahrenheit, is that correct? seems awfully hot*) which then cooks the food. This saves them approx “7,000 dollars**” a month.

Now that sort of solar won’t work everywhere. You do need some decent sun, but there is a huge portion of the world that could at the least reduce the amount of money spent purchasing fuel for the basic needs, which helps on both the economic and environment fronts, and a win-win like that is what we should be aiming for.

* That temp seems awfully high, perhaps I should just chalk it up to being CNN? It does cook the food tho.
** Not sure if that is 7,000 US dollars, tho it well could be. Feeding that many people would cost an incredible amount, even in India


3 Responses to “Solar Powered Kitchens”

  1. March 6, 2010 at 6:39 PM

    I think solar will be useful, both for water heating and production of electricity. It’s problem is expense. The cost of electricity here is probably excessive due to lack of production, but even so, the cost of solar is such that it appears to take about 5–7 years to recoup costs, presumably longer if electricity costs were appropriate.

    But my understanding is that the panels’ life expectancies are in that timeframe, so when you finally are at the place you can save money you need to reinstall them.

    Hopefully cheaper materials and the production of solar ink will make it more competitive.

  2. March 7, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    The short life span of solar panels is my understanding too. It will one day make a big difference in the energy market, but that time is still a ways off yet, tho perhaps not too far. Another company is making solar tinting for glass. That way the buildings we have could also use their windows to collect solar energy. The company doesn’t claim that it would power the entire building (or car), because it needs to still be transparent, but it could be used in conjunction with other technologies to reduce its dependency upon the grid. Just think of how much energy could be collected on a 50 story building.

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