ASEI team set out to construct and disseminate solar powered cookers as part of a global learning community of collaborators that seeks to extend access to affordable clean energy cooking technologies such as the ISEC in local communities hence contributing to achievement of SDG (Sustainable development goal) 7. The ISECs (insulated solar electric cookers) were constructed with 99% of the materials sourced locally in Uganda.
The pilot was carried out in households in four villages Booma, Kitumba, Njara, Mukubo in the west, central, west and southern divisions respectively of Fort Portal city in the Rwenzori region (Western Uganda). The city lies between 0°39’16.0″N, 30°16’28.0″E (Latitude:0.654444; Longitude:30.274444) and is situated at an average elevation of 1,523 meters (4,997 ft) above sea level.
A feedback survey done during the pilot phase showed that 100% of the users expressed interest in purchasing the ISEC (Insulated Solar Electric Cooker) and 75% agreed that using the ISEC to cook is better than other cooking options such as using charcoal and mud stove while 100% agreed it is better than using a 3 stone stove. The reasons generally were due to the ISEC being clean compared to using biomass sources (firewood, charcoal) with no gas emissions, relatively good cooking time, less monitoring needed during the cooking and no costs of fuel. During the pilot phase different foods cooked with the solar powered cookers included beans, sweet potatoes, matooke (bananas), water, eggs, rice, greens (vegetables) and boiling water, the minimum power rating used to cook was 200Watts.
“I did not realize you could cook a meal using a cooker that relies entiely on solar energy” – Kyalingoza Paul ( ISEC User – Physics teacher).
ISECs can accelerate the transition to an affordable, reliable and sustainable energy system in cooking and set a trend for other technologies in the cooking sector to completely switch to clean renewable energy / fuel sources such as solar hence ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. ASEI team is currently looking at ramping up ISEC production with a target of disseminating ISECs to the vast majority of the Rwenzori region and other parts of the country.
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