Summer is here and you may be planning to spend some time in the sun. So on this Feel Good Friday so I'm here to tell you about an organization that turns sunshine into peanut butter!
GoSol.org is an organization with a mission "to eradicate energy poverty and minimize the damage of climate change by breaking down the barriers to solar energy access." Yes, but where does the peanut butter come in?
It starts with the technology. Instead of magnifying glasses to concentrate the energy of the sun, GoSol.org uses a series of mirrors which are bent to focus the sun's light on one spot. That spot can reach up to 300 degrees Celsius and is the center point for a variety of appliances. There are roasters for peanuts, coffee and cocoa beans; ovens for bread and other baked goods; and cooktops for scrambled eggs and grilled cheese sandwiches!
The benefits are explained on the GoSol.org website. "Users of our solar concentrators are rural businesses that currently rely on charcoal, firewood and unstable electric grids. Our machines can power bakeries, nut and bean roasteries, and fruit and fish drying businesses. By using our technology, entrepreneurs save money and use charcoal or electricity only during rainy days. They breath cleaner air, have lower costs and are empowered with energy independence."
If you've got 6 minutes to spare you can watch this video that shows people in Kenya using a solar oven to bake bread and roast peanuts for peanut butter, as well as photos of solar ovens in use around the world. Current and past project can be found at this link and include fish dehydrating in Tanzania, a bakery in Haiti and a workshop in New York that teaches people how to build and use the solar ovens.
You can support the work of GoSol.org by downloading their solar manifesto and spreading the word, liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @GoSolOrg. I'm off to make a peanut butter sandwich now as I suddenly have a craving for peanut butter.