A lot of die-hard barbeque fans, have their grills positioned somewhere in their yard where they can use it day or night, rain or shine, summer or winter. Don’t be surprised as there’s such folk who will grill chicken even in a snowstorm and in just a T-shirt if necessary.
You can’t blame them as barbeque food is absolutely delicious, whether it’s chicken, burgers, steak, corn on the cob, or something more inventive. It is a great way to connect with your family, friends, neighbors, or old acquaintances.
However, the grills that we use are harmful to the environment. They release emissions and cause poor air quality regardless if we use charcoal, wood chips, or propane.
As you know, solar-powered grills need sun in order to work. This means that night and evening barbeques, which are the most frequent ones, cause damage to the environment.
This was until now, as MIT professor David Wilson found the ideal solution for people to grill outdoors without damaging the environment.
Wilson Solar Cookers Without Fuel
MIT professor David Wilson developed a new solar technology that will bring a solar cooker that functions at night. This invention will significantly benefit developing nations who depend on wood for cooking.
Wilson’s technology concept harnesses the sun and stores the latent heat for cooking for up to twenty-five hours at temperatures above 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The technology uses a Fresnel lens to hold the sun’s energy to melt a container of Lithium Nitrate which acts as a thermal-storing battery for 25 hours at a time. Afterwards, the heat is released for our favorite way to cook outdoors.
“There are a lot of solar cookers out there,” Wilson says, “but surprisingly not many using latent-heat storage as an attribute to cook the food.” There have been solar cookers, grills, and ovens made before, but they all had to be used during the day to function.
He says he got the idea after a visit to Nigeria. Apparently, the standard cooking method there requires wood, and causes various problems like deforestation, respiratory conditions, and increased risk of rape when women search firewood.
Derek Ham, Eric Uva, and Theodora Vardouli are MIT students who try to develop the technology for a prototype solar grill. Through the multi-disciplinary course “Innovation Teams”, or “iTeams,” they are conducting a study to assess the concept, and then to start a business to produce and distribute this revolutionary barbeque.
Besides developing a grill for the U.S. market, their ultimate goal is making a business model for solar grill sell for the developing nations. The version for the U.S. market is probably going to be a hybrid propane/solar model which will enable flame cooking as thoroughly as thermal convection.
Reportedly, this revolutionary innovation is coming soon, and it’s going to be a perfect gift for any barbeque fan.
Having this solar-powered grill will mean saving the Mother Nature while cooking your food in your most favorite cooking method. Make sure you tell your friends about the new, environment-friendly way of grilling.