Last updated: 26 May 2016
Alan Bigelow is a physicist at Columbia University’s Radiological Research Accelerator Facility (RARAF) in New York. In 2007 Alan co-founded the solar-powered, eco-rock band Solar Punch, whose mission is to raise awareness about climate change and to promote sustainable living. The group finds that performing original songs about solar science is an effective way to engage the public and encourage people to apply their individual skills toward solving environmental problems.
Alan learned about solar cooking through Solar Punch activities in the USA and abroad. During climate-solution tours in India, Solar Punch learned about institutional solar cooking from their friend and mentor Deepak Gadhia. In November 2013 the band participated in a 9-day, high-altitude solar trek in Nepal featuring solar cooking, led by ecologist Maarten Olthof of the Vajra Foundation Holland and Ramkaji Paudel of the Vajra Foundation Nepal. In July and August 2014, the group was invited by the US State Department to tour Haiti with a focus on solar energy; the group conducted several workshops on solar cooking in and around Port au Prince and in Cap Haitien.
As the physicist in Solar Punch, Alan has incorporated an array of solar demonstrations, including solar cooking using an SOS Sport solar oven and an SK14 solar cooker. These demonstrations allow him to engage audience members in discussions about how solar cooking can benefit the environment and people.
He has worked with his Solar Punch bandmates to design a series of off-grid, solar-power generators that they use in their performances, and he also designed and built an ultra-light, flexible solar panel for solar-powered filmmaking during their solar trek in Nepal. Alan is a member of the New York Solar Energy Society (NYSES), and serves as the NYSES advisor for the Institute of Solar Technology in Howra, West Bengal, India.
In 2015, Dr. Bigelow joined Solar Cookers International's team of United Nations, New York representatives.
Certification: North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) PV EL
- April 2016: As a result of a collaboration at the United Nations, Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation invited Dr. Alan Bigelow to speak for SCI during the Strength from Disaster conference in Nepal, April 2016. He gave a presentation describing solar cookers' potential in medical clinics during disaster relief: cooking food for patients, pasteurizing water, developing an appropriate solar autoclave, and providing air conditioning (using the example at the Muni Seva Ashram, Gujarat, India). Bigelow also visited a potential solar cooker testing center in Kathmandu, and a zero-waste Tibetan nunnery.
- August 2015: One Earth Designs has announced that Alan Bigelow is now the Director of New Market Development.
- June 2015: Solar Punch has announced plans for a return solar trekking trip to Nepal in November 2015, and a second possible trip planned for November 2016. Those interested in participating should contact Solar Punch.
Audio and video
- October 2015:
- March 2015: Alan Bigelow of Solar Punch has released this short trailer documenting some of the experiences they shared with fellow trekkers on the 2014 Solar Himalayan Trek.
- July 2014: Alan Bigelow's presentation "Solar Cooking on a Trek in Nepal" delivered at the SCInet convention in July, 2014 included the video below.