One Earth Designs just announced to Inhabitat that they've teamed up with Google's rapid prototyping genius Tom Chi (the user experience designer who worked on Google Glass and Google’s Self-Driving Car) to create a new super-portable and high powered solar stove called the SolSource Air. The Air weighs less than 7 pounds, cooks meats in 10 minutes, and it's easy to pack up and take with you, making it exceptionally convenient to use.
What if boiling water were a day-long chore? For millions around the world, something as simple as making tea or cooking lunch requires hours of backbreaking work to find fuel for a lasting fire. In developing nations, women and girls spend long hours collecting pollution-heavy fuels while their brothers attend school. One Earth Designs knows that in a single hour, enough sunlight reaches Earth to power humanity for an entire year, and through their upcoming line of portable, affordable solar stoves, they aim to harness that energy for a cleaner planet and a socially just world.
Currently, the company’s most popular product is the SolSource Pro. This parabolic dish uses reflector panels to collect solar rays. The sun’s energy is then concentrated to a single point under a stove-top that is built over the middle of the device, where the food can be boiled, grilled, steamed, or fried. Perfected through 13 rounds of prototyping and field testing with rural communities in western China, the SolSource Pro is designed to protect user’s eyes from harmful UV radiation while providing a comfortable and convenient cooking experience–even if it’s cloudy. According to the company, the SolSource Pro can boil a liter of water in ten minutes without producing a single ounce of carbon pollution.
“Eight hundred SolSource Pro solar stoves were sold to the Chinese government late last year in western China and distributed to nomadic peoples and villagers in the province of Qinghai. Dozens of NGOs and governments are currently interested in distributing the SolSource Pro now too,” John B. Lindquist, Market Development Manager for One Earth Designs, explains.
Unlike the SolSource Pro, the SolSource Air will be geared toward recreational use right here in the United States. Engineered for the user to stand in a safe position away from any harmful rays, the Air’s durable materials and design ensures that it will stand up to harsh weather and last for a long time. Keep it in the backyard for pollution-free outdoor cooking or toss it in the RV for off-grid convenience while on the road.
One Earth Designs told us that they are also working on a new line of products to use in tandem with the SolSource, including devices that will harness the power of solar to generate electricity, store energy for later, and serve as a source for other at-home appliances (for instance, running a heater or charging a cell phone). We’ll keep you updated!