Solar Cookers World Network

Changes: TIDES


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The TIDES project (Transportable Infrastructures for Development and Emergency Support) is a research effort to encourage information sharing and develop Communities of Interest to support populations in stressed environments. Such environments include Stabilization and Reconstruction (SSTR), Humanitarian Assistance-Disaster Relief (HADR), and Building the Capacity of Partner Nations (BPC). Phase I of TIDES included demonstrations in Oct-Nov 2007 at the National Defense University (NDU) and the Pentagon’s center court. TIDES is one part of a broader effort called STAR (Sustainable Technologies, Accelerated Research).

  • TIDES-related environments include: domestic and foreign, short term (disaster relief) and long term (displaced persons), military involvement, or not. Each has different needs.
  • DoD usually is not in the lead for these efforts, but often supports others, such as DHS/FEMA domestically, and the State Department/USAID/OFDA overseas.
  • TIDES does not try to address all problems in these situations, but focuses primarily on seven infrastructures: Shelter, water, power, integrated cooking, cooling/lighting/heating, sanitation and Information & Communications Technologies (ICT). Medical support will be added in the future.
  • The goal is to build the broadest possible communities to suggest innovative solutions to support those who are dealing with real world situations.
  • Participation in TIDES does NOT imply endorsement by the US govt.

TIDES’ focus is on information sharing and low-cost, transportable infrastructures, not the capital-intensive infrastructures of the developed world, or the deployable, integrated (and expensive) ones used by the military. TIDES infrastructures should be able to be turned over to the affected populations at the end of an operation.

Recent news and developments

  • October 2011: Patricia McArdle, of Solar Cookers International, demonstrated solar cooking with Afzal Syed and volunteers, Sherry and Cecily, at the TIDES exhibit on the campus of the National Dense University. Afzal brought several pots of raw ingredients for Pakistani dishes that were prepared by his wife Samina, including: masoor dall, spiced potatoes, okra, and chawal rice. Patricia baked a loaf of banana bread, which was consumed in less than five minutes. They used the parabolic SK10 (similar to the SK12), purchased from Deepak Gadhia several years ago, to keep a pot of water boiling from 9 a.m. in the morning until the event ended at 5 p.m. There were a number of senior military visitors from other countries. Several have expressed an interest in learning more about solar cooking technology and how it can be used in their countries. The most surprising visit yesterday was from a Vietnamese general, the most senior Vietnamese military officer to visit the U.S. since before the war with Vietnam started in the sixties. Several 'very important people' who came to the demonstration assumed that it would take us 10 to 12 hours to cook food in a panel or box cooker. They were astounded that the food was cooked in less than three hours--in October-- in Washington D.C.--which is 40 degrees north of the equator.
TIDES solar cooking exhibit 10-11, 1

Patricia McArdle and volunteer Cecily, remove Pakistani okra from a CooKit panel cooker at TIDES 2011.

TIDES solar cooking exhibit 10-11, 2

Afzal Syed opens a pot of Pakistani dall at TIDES 2011

TIDES solar cooking exhibit 10-11, 3

Everything was cooked by one p.m. and gone by 2 p.m. at TIDES 2011

TIDES solar cooking exhibit 10-11, 4

People continue to be amazed--especially that it takes only twenty minutes to boil a pot of water at TIDES 2011.

Audio and video

Tides 2011a07:17


Patricia McArdle is interviewed about solar cooking at the 2011 TIDES demonstration of alternative energy in Washington D.C. The annual event brings together government and private-sector organizations to share professional knowledge and field experience.


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