Images via Yanko Design
Solar cookers for rural communities and villages in developing countries are a hot topic among designers. They can help cut down on the GHGs emitted by burning typical fuels, from wood to dung to kerosene, but they are often inefficient or impractical. It doesn't stop designers from trying, however, and Yonggu Do and Eunha Seo have created the Hot Liner, a flexible solar panel that can be formed into a cooking surface.
It seems that this design suffers from the same single flaw many of these life-saver designs have -- once it's broke, it's broke. And that sort of non-repairability makes the product unrealistic for its core audience. Plus, these would be expensive -- using a less fancy version of a solar cooker that includes a reflective dish, and that's about it, seems more practical.
There are, however, some smart elements to the design, including minimal parts, and ease of use. Durability is in question, but if the solar panels can be made scratch-resistant enough, then perhaps they make a practical solution for a daily need. The potential is there, perhaps, and it was an award-winning entrant at the 2010 Seoul International Design Competition co-hosted by Designboom.
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