Last updated: 6 December 2016
Photovoltaic cooking offers another approach to harvesting the sun to cook food. Instead of using the sun's direct radiation to cook, these systems use solar cells to create electricity that is used to power an electric stove. With the availability of a battery, the cooker would be able to be used after sunset. Photovoltaic cells are also used to power fans to increase the efficiency of Improved combustion stoves.
There is a concern though that the production of the solar cells uses a great deal of energy itself. The cells may have to create power for up to 37 months just to balance the amount of energy used in their manufacture.
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- Electric cooking is convenient and widely adopted globally, while photovoltaic cells are ideal for small-scale electricity generation in many areas. Assuming the continuing decrease in photovoltaic prices, when might we expect PV solar cooking systems to be cost competitive? Should we start designing them?