According to the World Health Organization, nearly three billion people across the world cook using wood, charcoal or other biomass fuels, often using simple three-stone stoves. Biomass cooking creates requires significant labor from collecting fuel, creates indoor air pollution, and contributes to deforestation. Improved charcoal cookstoves which have been developed over the past few years promise better efficiency and less smoke, but they have met with limited success.
The SUNSPOT™ solar electric cooking system provides a clean, efficient and cost-effective alternative to wood or charcoal. Solar electric cooking is made possible by three recent trends – the dramatic fall in the price of solar panels for utility projects, the availability of low cost, highly efficient induction cookstoves and the introduction of Pay-As-You-Go financing in rural communities.
The SUNSPOT™ consists of two utility-grade PV modules, a lead-carbon battery, an inverter/charge controller and the induction cooktop. The induction stove is more than 80% efficient, turns on and off instantly (eliminating fuel waste and allowing changes in cooking patterns), and eliminates carbon monoxide, particulate pollution, and safety hazards of open flame fires. The system provides enough energy to cook meals for an entire family as well as energy LED lamps, mobile phone charging ports and small appliances. Overall, the system provides the most benefits for women and children through improved health and increased free time to spend on more productive activities.
At scale, the monthly cost of the system will be less than monthly charcoal purchases combined with a small PAYG solar home system.