Last edited: 22 February 2020
The Bethel Business and Community Development Centre has built a prototype parabolic trough system that he is using to operate a steady cottage bread and pastry baking business. The device can bake 25-40 kilogram loaves (depending on the season) in a day (and even a bit more on a perfect day). It also does pastries beautifully. The solar bread baker works so well, that he has invested in a 20-liter dough mixer, which also operates off his house’s PV system.
Events[edit | edit source]
Online events[edit source]
- NEW: Monday, 2 November 2020 (7-9 p.m. EST, 11 p.m.-1 a.m. GMT): D.A.R.E to Solar Cook - The Physics of Cooking with Sunshine - The Carnegie Science Center is sponsoring a Café Scientifique. Solar advocates Mary Buchenic and Jennifer Gasser will share their experiences promoting the solar cooking STEM curriculum, and Dr. Alan Bigelow, SCI Science Director, will discuss the technical details of solar cooking and incorporating the science of materials and light optics. Participation in the event is free, but pre-registration is required. Registration information
- NEW: 3-6 November 2020: The 5th International Conference on New Energy and Future Energy Systems - A scientific interchange among researchers, developers, engineers, students, and practitioners from around the world. They gather to share their latest achievements, and discuss the possible challenges for current energy and future energy systems. More information...
- NEW: 23 - 27 November 2020: 1er. Congreso Nacional de Secado Solar y Cocción Solar de Alimentos - Presentación en línea de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), en español. Contacto: email@example.com
- December 2020: SWC50 – The Century of Solar - In 1970 solar research pioneers met at the first International Solar Energy Society (ISES) Conference in Melbourne Australia. ISES is commemorating this Conference with a special 50th Anniversary Conference and Display, called the Solar World Congress at 50 (SWC50). The face-to-face conference, originally scheduled for 2-4 December 2020, will be replaced by a series of eight virtual conferences over the course of the month in December 2020. It will include the same panel sessions that were planned for the in-person planned event. More information...
News[edit | edit source]
- June 2016: The Bethel Business and Community Development Centre has won the 2016 Energy Global Award for Lesotho.
- February 2014: Margaret Bennett reports on a SunStove training that took place earlier this month in Lesotho. The workshop was run by two ladies from Quebec, Canada, and funded by the Raging Grannies of Vancouver. Twenty-five sunstoves were set out with tiles to preheat with soup dishes placed in the sun on the group to warm the water/oil mixture for the Bohobe (bread) recipe. While the bread baked, we talked - repeating the lessons of the week and answering questions. Everyone is keen to dry fruit in the SunStove & we are excited to hear the results. Keke informed us that fruit buyers in Mohales Hoek pay 50 rand a kilo for dried fruit, so this could be an income-generator for some of these grandparents and children. Much thanks to Carol and Christine, trainers, solar cooks, and carpenters.
- April 2008: Ivan Yaholnitsky has built a proto-type parabolic trough system that he is using to operate a steady cottage bread and pastry baking business. The device can bake 25-40, 1000g loaves (depending on the season) in a day (and even a bit more on a perfect day). It also does pastries beautifully. The solar bread baker works so well, that he has invested in a 20 liter dough mixer, which also operates off his house’s PV system.
History[edit | edit source]
A. A. Eberhard reported in the 1994 Proceedings of the Eighth Biennial Congress of the International Solar Energy Society, that a group of South Africans attempted to introduce solar cooking in the mountains of Lesotho. The project was not a success from Eberhard's perspective, confirmed by two others on their return from a Peace Corps assignment and academic work in the country. Their analysis of reasons, cast in terms of Rogers' 1983 theory on the diffusion of innovation, concluded, innovation basically cannot be introduced by foreigners. They then proceeded to discuss successful introduction of devices by others with foreign sounding names, like Yaholnitsky and Scott, that have in fact, been more successful. (Scott, though not a Basotho, was born there.) Their approaches to introducing solar cooking were very practical, such as teaching women how to cook the basic staple of the country, and using local people as aides and trainers. Perhaps all of this was a precursor to the current situation in Lesotho.
The Bethel Business and Community Development Centre has been the center of solar cooking activity for this small nation. It is located in Moorosi, Lethotha The Centre, which began in 1998, provides adult education of many applied types, attempting to inculcate practical skills and teamwork in its young adult student body. The center has demonstrated by its own use, topics such as water resource development and utilization, improvement of rural infrastructure, enhancement of village design, solar energy utilization, and environmental regeneration. Some of the courses of study have given students professional training and skills; others are short courses for refreshing already learned skills and exposure to new ideas in the various fields. The campus included residential quarters for both the full time and the short-term students.
The unit that has focused on solar technology is called Solar Soft. Representatives of the group were present at the world meeting in Kimberley, South Africa. The design they were using was a box cooker mounted on a heavy pipe set into a ground base which allowed it to turned to follow the sun. (SCI personnel made certain they had a CooKit to take home and experiment with.) A small but steady demand for cookers, which were made by craftsmen at the Center, has been generated. Their strategy has been to target a better-educated, middle class audience, touting environmental arguments rather than fuel savings. They demonstrated that cookers can be sold to this audience. Students at the college prepared lunches every day of the school week using solar cookers. A strength of the program has been situating solar cooking firmly in the range of other solar and renewable modes of operating, thereby providing students with multiple and integrated lessons for their later life.
- Main article: History of solar cooking
Climate and culture[edit | edit source]
- February 2016: Lesotho’s 'green drought' pushes thousands deeper into hunger - The Guardian
- Wikipedia article on the climate of Lesotho
- Lesotho Energy Situation - Energypedia
- Solar cooker dissemination and cultural variables
Resources[edit | edit source]
Possible funders[edit source]
Reports[edit | edit source]
Articles in the media[edit | edit source]
- February 2018: Solar cooker donations help Lesotho grannies The Citizen
Blogs[edit | edit source]
Audio and video[edit | edit source]
- January 2020:
The entities listed below are either based in Lesotho, or have established solar cooking projects there:
SCI Associates[edit source]
- Main article: Solar Cookers International Association