Last updated: 1 October 2015
The Laboratório de Energias e Materiais (LEM) is located in Sergipe, Brazil, at the state capital, Aracaju. It is a department of the Institute of Technologies and Research, of the University of Tiradentes. Research development at LEM is primarily under the direction of Paulo Araujo, a long time advocate of solar cooking, involved with cooker design and large scale distribution of solar cookers to impoverished countries.
Paulo also founded Cozinha Escola Experimental Solar (CEES), which was inaugurated for the purpose of working in poor communities to guarantee nutrition and provide education about basic food handling concerns, as well as the construction and use of solar ovens, and for scientific experiments with renewable energy to study the current efficiency of the CEES. This effort is currently (October 2014) on hold awaiting further funding from the Brazilian Government.
News and recent developments
- October 2014: Dr. Paulo Araujo reports: We are working hard in parallel to try to transform the university cafeteria (Federal University of Sergipe) serving approximately 1,000 meals daily to 100% solar. We need support from institutions who wish to help us with this project.
- November 2012: An experimental solar cooking school has been established by the Energy and Materials Laboratory (LEM) at the Mechanical Engineering School of the Federal University of Sergipe in Brazil. The Project’s Field research is being coordinated in a socially vulnerable community in Brazil by Dr. Paulo Mário Machado Araújo. The Energy and Material Laboratory was founded in 2001. It’s situated in the Mechanical Engineering Department of the Federal University of Sergipe, and is coordinated by the professor Dr. Paulo Mário Machado Araújo. The laboratory works with applied research, focusing on social technologies and trying to improve the quality of life for people living in poor communities. One of LEM´s outstanding projects, the Experimental Solar Kitchen School, was innovational in creating a laboratory in a socially vulnerable community. There it was possible to experience the benefits of solar kitchens to guaranty nutrition, social inclusion, human health and environmental education, as well as the construction of solar ovens, and production of carbon credits. Another project developed at LEM is the SOLAGUA, which studies the disinfection of water using solar energy. A low cost water treatment pilot plant to be used in poor communities was studied, with results measured at 75 liters/day/m2 of water disinfected via solar energy. Other projects with solar energy that are being studied and tested include: dried fruits and vegetables; thermal treatment of concrete for accelerated curing; as well as the production of steam for the development of new solar kitchens or mechanical energy production. One of the most ambitious of LEM’s recent projects is to try to make a solar restaurant at the university, to provide the 1,300 daily student meals. Another challenge is to improve the pilot plant for water disinfection via solar energy. LEM will also promote the development of techniques for the use of low cost materials in solar equipment. Fixed focus solar concentrators are being studied for application in solar kitchens. One objective in particular is to continue teaching how to build and use solar ovens made of cardboard boxes. Governmental institutions have supported some of LEM’s projects, for instance, The Organization of the United Nations for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO), The Foundation of Research Support and Innovation (FAPITEC), as well as the Secretary of Social Inclusion (SEIDES), the latter two in connection with the State of Sergipe.
- November 2011: Paulo reports that LEM began teaching solar cooking in 1994 in France and Brazil, and they have since taught over 5000 people to use solar cooking technologies, and have distributed over 1500 solar cookers.
Laboratório de Energia e Materiais - UFS
Núcleo de Engenharia Mecânica
Universidade Federal de Sergipe
Av. Marechal Rondon S/N - Jd. Rosa Elze - São Cristovão 49100-000
Tel: +55 79 2105-6314