Derek Dunn-Rankin of the University of California, Irvine in the U.S. will refine the design of an energy storage device that collects and stores solar energy to enable indoor or evening cooking in developing countries. Traditional stoves use wood or animal dung as an energy source, which are labor-intensive methods, environmentally unfriendly, and potentially deleterious to health. The storage device consists of an insulated box containing potassium nitrite and sodium nitrite, which undergo a solid-to-liquid phase transition at a certain temperature. During re-solidification, the stored energy is slowly released to provide a stable heat source that can be used to cook foods such as bread and rice. They will work to optimize the design to improve performance and reduce the cost of the device, in order to move towards mass production.
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