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2019-09-23. Alan Bigelow's Solar-cooking Revolution.

posted Sep 30, 2019, 12:22 AM by Alan Gould
By Ian Frazier, The New Yorker. [https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/09/30/alan-bigelows-solar-cooking-revolution] For GSS Energy Use chapter 10. Excerpt: Late one recent morning, Alan Bigelow set up seven solar-thermal cooking devices in the front yard of his house in Nyack, New York. ...One of the seven cookers cost essentially nothing, and consisted of linked cardboard panels covered with aluminum foil which reflected the sunlight to a central point, on which sat a pot of jasmine rice. Another was a metal box with silvery surfaces that unfolded upward, to catch the sun and aim it at a pot of chicken-and-tomato stew. A high-end solar cooker (about five hundred dollars, retail), which involved a large parabolic dish and a cooking surface like a burner on an electric stove, had already become hot enough to get a pan of stir-fry shrimp in turmeric sauce sizzling. Bigelow is the science director of Solar Cookers International (S.C.I.), a nonprofit that promotes solar cooking around the world. ...Four months ago, he demonstrated solar cookers at a refugee camp in northern Kenya. ...“About three billion people around the world cook on open fires,” Bigelow said, giving the parabolic cooker a nudge, to keep it aligned with the sun. Frank said, “And all that smoke is bad for the planet, of course, but the fires are also terrible for the women and girls who have to tend them, breathing in the smoke, getting burns and lung ailments, risking being raped or even killed on their increasingly long journeys to find biomass to burn—wood and dung, mainly.” "...solar cooking can reduce deforestation and soil erosion, and they can also use the cookers to pasteurize water where there’s a problem finding a potable supply.”...