Cooking is another of life’s joys that can instead be a struggle that is costly both to health and the cash of marginalised peoples. The use of charcoal is expensive and inefficient in comparison to new clean electrically-powered ways of cooking. We aim to slash the time and money spent on making/collecting charcoal, wood, grasses, manure to burn. We will be investigating four main alternatives:
The microwave is the most frugal heating device invented to date. By merely exciting the water atoms in the food an 800 watt microwave can cook a meal in minutes. It may not be the goto device of any restaurant chef, but it certainly wins if your battery storage is limited and you’ve got no time or money to buy more charcoal. These can be bought for $30.
Induction heaters are a relatively new kid on the block, and can provide heating efficiencies of 90%. It does require the pots and pans to be made of certain conductive metals, but once in place these will be continually usable with the solar power systems we’re distributing. Price of these is $20 and pans are $3.
We will also be looking at steamers and slow cookers in our next tests and research tour. We’ll be comparing them to the cost, time, effort, and taste of traditional cooking methods.
Naturally these will need an off-grid system to power them. We’re looking at ‘village-level’ systems that could power several cookers for several hours, a 2Kw system with a large battery array. As well as individual systems that could power a large household’s cooking for a day, although so far we’re struggling to find smaller 500w systems with a single battery that will do the job.