Sustainable OneWorld Technologies C.I.C.

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Wood is the major fuel used for cooking in rural Sub-Saharan Africa. This is causing widespread deforestation which has the effect of making wood more difficult to source and more expensive to buy. Alternate fuel sources therefore need to be found.

The SOWTech eCook stove connects solar panels via a Power Optimisation Device (POD) to a heater plate that can be built in country. The POD regulates the power from the solar panel to optimise and control the power drawn from the PV panel as this would fluctuate with the intensity of the sun. The POD is also able to prevent the unit from overheating and allowed the provision of a USB socket for mobile phone charging which was a desirable obtained from the user-centred design process.

As meals are often cooked early morning, before sunrise, or in the evening after sunset, a form of heat storage was needed. The use of phase change material (PCM) as the heat store was selected after collaboration with California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly). A vessel suitable for holding the PCM was designed and also an insulated box to house the PCM vessel to prevent heat loss prior to using the eCook stove for cooking.

A prototype was built and tested in Malawi.

To read more about this project click here.

eCook stove

Cooking nsima with the SOWTech solar powered eCookstove

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