Did you know that many women in developing countries spend 3-4 hours a day collecting firewood for cooking? Time that can instead be devoted to working for the family and society and that it is saved on the environment. Here, the Värmland company Sunfuria wants to be involved and contribute with the innovation Solkok, which heats up leftover waste oil to a functioning kitchen.
Already today, two solar cookers with their energy stores have been delivered to a school in Kenya where 700 children will soon have their school meals prepared. Through the export platform Smart City Sweden and Gästrike Återvinnare, an opportunity has now also been opened up in the northern part of Somalia, more specifically the province of Somaliland. The innovators Adam Fjaestad and Peter Körner have developed another prototype that is ready to be sent to Berbera, a port city in Somalia, in the de facto independent Somaliland, by the Gulf of Aden. The city has about 520,000 inhabitants and is the capital of the province of Sahil.
– We have developed a prototype of our Solkok and will travel to Somaliland and meet investors from neighbouring countries Puntland, Somalia and Rwanda. We want to see if the local contractors are interested in the kitchen and if there is interest in developing this locally in several regions. The goal is for an independent factory to be established in Somaliland with local labour. Here, a solar cooker will be built and developed to be sold to hotels, restaurants but also to ordinary homes, says Peter Körner.
The purpose of the Solkok innovation is to improve the efficiency of consumption and production for people, especially women. Today, enormous amounts of firewood are used in cooking in the African countryside. Wood is in short supply and many, mainly women, have to walk long distances to find enough firewood for the evening’s cooking. Firing with firewood is also environmentally destructive. Instead, oil is heated in Solkoken during the day to about 150 degrees Celsius with the help of solar energy. The oil can, for example, be used in frying oil, rapeseed oil or the like. A concave mirror is a solar collector that concentrates sunlight against a tube of water that is heated and evaporated. The water vapour condenses inside the energy store, a barrel filled with oil, which stores the heat until the cooker is used to cook.
– Electricity is in short supply in Africa and ten times as expensive as in Sweden; so with our innovation, we want to be involved and make a difference and contribute to sustainable development, continues Peter Körner.
It was through Gästrike Återvinnare, Dalarna Science Park and Smart City Sweden that Peter and Adam got in touch with Somaliland and the mayor of Berbera. Several digital meetings have been held to present the innovation and present proposals for implementation. To now be able to show the prototype and meet investors is a step in the right direction for the development of the business.
– We are already seeing great interest from several countries in Africa but also India. Being on-site and being able to discuss, take in views and input and see the environments is important. We think that innovations should be exported so that they can make the best possible benefit for as many users as possible, concludes Peter Körner.
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Names in picture: Adam Fjaestad, Mikael Mellerdal, Martin Nylén, Linu Joseph, Peter Körner, Jan Sjöberg