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The concept of energy development rotates around the issue of energy crisis. By definition, energy crisis is the great shortfall in the supply of energy to and economy (‘Energy Crisis’, 2005). Today, the term mostly used to describe shortage of oil and electricity. The world’s energy production is currently generated by: oil (40%), natural gas (22.5%), coal (23.3%), Hydroelectric (7.0%), Nuclear (6.5%) and others (0.7%) (‘Future Energy,’ 2005).As stated, we are still very much dependent to fossil fuels. Without this specific form of energy source, our industrialized world supported by modern agriculture, transportation, waste collection, communication and information technology would certainly collapse. Experts and visionaries described this scenario as the Malthusian catastrophe, where the world would experience massive famine and humanity would be forced to move out of cities and living only on the most natural resources again (‘Future Energy’, 2005).However, because fossil fuels, our most valuable source of energy, is known to have strong connections with worldwide environmental problems such as global warming, acid rains and pollution, efforts to find new sources of energy had receive increasing attention. Some energy alternatives are the fuel cell technology, hydrogen fuel, methanol, bio fuels, solar energy, tidal energy and wind energy (‘Energy Crisis’, 2005).I.2       TopicSeveral studies about the world’s source of energy stated that most forms of our energy sources could be traced back to the fusion reaction inside the sun. In other words, most our current energy, for example, oil, coal and natural gas, is originated from radiation of the sun. However, the radiation from the sun needed hundreds of years of process to produce usable forms of energy sources. On the other hand, humans do not have such abundant amount of time before existing energy sources runs dry. Within this study, we are discussing about the more direct form of solar energy. We will discuss how we can use the rays from the sun as present source of energy and how we can take advantage of it within our daily lives. Furthermore, we will narrow down the discussion, into a topic elaborating about Solar Cooking, its development and its future prospect in the market. I.3       Thesis StatementDespite the importance of developing energy saving-appliances to the point where they are sufficiently feasible to compete in open market, the usage of alternative energy such us the solar energy is still largely unpopular among modern societies. This is due to difficulties of promoting new energy saving-tools or techniques to the society. Some of these difficulties relate to the issue of cost and practicality. There are those who believe that taking advantage of new technologies that save energy, instead of using available source of energy would require extra cost. Most however, choose not to use the energy saving tools because it is considered impractical compare to using existing energy sources.Those difficulties are found in the development and promotion of solar cooking techniques. Modern stoves and microwave ovens would obviously attract more attention compare to stoves that gathers solar energy to generate heat. There is very slim or even no chance to successfully promotes the solar energy cooking appliances against modern ones, especially within modern and developed cities. However, in the developing countries where sophisticated appliances are still very rare or very expensive, there is considerable hope of getting the solar cooking appliances to compete economically, and even generate considerable profit. Within this discussion, we state our believe that the solar cooking appliances would have an economic future in the developing and underdeveloped countries, and development of the appliances should be focused on related local markets, incorporating considerations of specific issues within the market.II.                 SynopsisThe paper contains elaboration of the development of the solar cooker product and also describe several designs of it. However, technical elaboration of the product is only designed to give the proper basic understanding of the products. The main purpose of the paper is to assess the possibility of distributing the product through the market system. Most of the time, solar cooking appliances are distributed free of charge or largely subsidized for social purposes, but experts believe that the only way to enhance distributions of the product is by turning it into profitable business. Several obstacles and suggested solutions are presented within this chapter in order to define the extent of possibility to modify the solar cooker appliances into profitable products, thus providing the product with an acceptable prospect.III.              Designs and DevelopmentOriginally, a French-Swiss scientist named Horace de Saussure designed the concept of solar cooking. The idea was originated from the simple fact that a room, a carriage or any other places is usually hotter when the rays of the sun pass trough a glass before coming in to the room.  Inspired by this fact, De Saussure built a miniature greenhouse from five square boxes of glass, decreasing in size as the boxes goes deeper. Then the boxes were exposed to sunlight for several hours. He measures the temperature inside the boxes and found that as the boxes get smaller and deeper, temperature increases. The innermost box displayed the highest temperature of 189,5º F, a temperature that is enough to melt fruits. Despite its ability to fit as a cooking instrument, the hot box does not intended for such function. At the time, it is simply a tool for demonstrating some of the sunray’s nature (Horace, n.d).Moreover, Sir John Herschel, a noted astronomer, developed the hot box into a cooking device. On one of his expedition in the 1830’s, he uses a small mahogany container covered by glass, set into a wooden frame shield by another sheet of glass and by sand. He noted that the temperature inside the box were 240º F, well above the boiling point. He then uses the ‘solar stove’ to boil several eggs and a stew of meat to feed himself, his wife and six small children (Horace, n.d).The basic design of a solar box cooker includes several principles. The most important one is the heat principle. This principle consist of three important aspects, heat gain, heat lost and heat storage. The box cooker rely on greenhouse effect to generate heat. Visible light passes through the glass and is absorbed and reflected by materials inside the enclosed space. The heat generated is lost in three fundamental ways: conduction, radiation and convection. As the handle of a metal pan on a burning stove becomes hot through the transfer of heat, heat within a solar box is lost when it travels through tin foils, glasses, cardboard, air and insulation materials. The concept of radiation applies itself within the solar box as the hot pots inside the box reflected heat back to the walls of the box trough air or space. Thus, solar box generally uses glasses inside the box to trap radiant heat. The other way that the heat inside a solar box will be lost is trough the concept of convection. Heat will flow through the air, which escape primarily through cracks around the top lid or construction imperfections (Aalfs, n.d).Today, there are various designs of solar cooking devices. They can be divided into three basic forms: box cookers, panel cookers and parabolic cookers. Box cookers are the most original design of solar stoves. Variation includes slanting the face toward the sun and the number of reflectors. Panel Cookers are created by Roger Bernard in France. The design present flat panels concentrate the sun’s rays onto a pot inside a plastic bag or under a glass bowl. The main advantage of the design is that they can be built very quickly. Parabolic Cookers are concave disks that focus the light of the sun onto the bottom of a pot. The design is comparatively complicated, and the disks require adjustments every hour or so, in order to follow the sun. Most of the designs could generate heat up to 300º F (‘Solar Cooking’, 2001).A single reflector box cooker took twice as long to cook compare to conventional oven. Because we cannot actually ‘burn’ the food, we cannot stir the food as we cook. Users of this design usually put different foods in a few pots and then come back in later times, because the food will stay hot until they take it out. Panel Cookers cooks slightly faster that the box cookers. They also allow users to stir the food for a while to ensure that the food is cooked evenly. Parabolic cookers provide the strongest concentration of sunlight. The food will cook as fast as conventional stoves. If left unattended, the food will most probably burned (‘Solar Cooking, 2001).Modern designs usually use specific insulation materials. Fiberglass and Styrofoam are not recommended because they give bad-smelling gasses as they heat up. People usually use natural substances like cotton, wool, feathers or even crumpled newspaper. Some prefer to leave the walls empty to make a lighter cooker. This is not a mistake since most of the heat loss in a box cooker is through the glass or plastic, not through the walls. Stuffing the walls would only generate several percent of efficiency (‘Solar Cooking’, 2001). IV.              Future ProspectsDevelopers of solar cookers stated that there is no doubt that the product works. Reliable reports stated that more than 100,000 cookers already used in China and India. Recent breakthrough managed to provide 5000 families in Kenya with the Bernard Solar Panel Cooker (‘Solar Cooking’, 2001). However, despite the obvious use of the product, similar failures often occur in countries using the solar cookers. The solar cookers are usually given away or largely subsidized as promotional or social effort, but when the sponsor stopped, society also stop getting the solar cookers. Most commercial manufacturing of solar cookers generally experiences financial losses. There are several key problems of solar cooker distributions:One of those problems is communicating with local authorities. Producers of the solar cookers needed to cooperate with local governments or organizations. Developing and underdeveloped countries have a larger extent of national culture variation compare to developed countries. Thus, the original vision of cooperating with local authorities usually ended up with costly complications. Another obstacle is the existence of resistance toward modern appliances. Under-develop communities usually still have a strong sense of spirituality, which in part, causes them to be very suspicious toward modern products. The only solution to these problems is to run programs that are supported by local governments. Producer’s business plan must be elaborated in order to gain support from local authorities. Investigations must also be conducted in order to provide producers with the necessary knowledge to enter the market (Wareham, 1999).Several problems are cost-related. To make sure that the product would be developed and circulated, the solar cooker must be profitable for business or at least self-supporting for non-profit organizations. Statistic displayed people’s tendencies to use the solar cooker only if the product is entirely free or partially subsidized. This is logical because users of solar cooker are mostly the poor from under-develop counties. Thus, cheap prices of the product are in fact, the most important factor in promoting the solar cookers. However, it is not feasible to continually depending on government funding and donations from organization of humanity. The product must be developed to produce profit or it would be easily discarded by society. Despite the small chance of the occurrence, statistics displayed that most successful distributors are those who sold the product for profit (Wareham, 1999).Product design is also important for promoting the use of the products. For example, the size of the solar cooker must be sufficient to cook traditional or local meals. In Africa, buyers of the solar cooker are usually families with average meal of one kg per person per day. Thus, if we are to sell solar cookers in Africa, we must ensure that the device is large enough to cook at least 5 kg of food. However, producers must remind themselves that consideration of size should not be above the consideration of price. Heavy cookers are also less desirable compare to lighter ones. The product design must also be user friendly. It must incorporate considerations of consumer’s ability of operate the device. For example, parabolic cookers, which require hourly adjustments, might be less popular among simple people compare to box cookers (Wareham, 1999).Another important factor is product’s ability to be produced within market country, and materials must be locally available. Consumers, which are mostly poor people from underdeveloped countries, would consider it a heavy task to import materials from distant countries. They would thus easily stop seeing the product as a viable option. If producers of the solar cookers are able to establish local production facilities and maintain cheap product prices, they would most likely enhance the distribution of the products (Wareham, 1999).The problems stated above are obstacles that should be overcome immediately in order to maintain the credibility of the solar power concept as one of the most viable alternative energy sources. Despite issues of unpopularity and worldwide lack of attention, the concept grows immensely from the hands of several scientists. Several writes and scientist are developing the concept of solar economy, which is the use of solar energy to address all the upcoming problems within an economy. These scholars believe that fossil fuels have no future, and the solar energy would be the future solution of the world’s energy crisis problem. There is no doubt that the changes to the new ‘solar economy’ would require industrial revolution and restructuring international infrastructure, but the scientist believe that the solution would provide revitalization of future economy and the prevention of environmental devastation. V.                ConclusionAs the energy crisis had force us to look for new ways to provide ourselves with abundant energy sources, the solar energy has emerged as one of the most viable alternative energy sources. However, solar appliances are still unpopular due to cost and practicality issues. In terms of the solar cooking concept, products have been developed and designs have been enhanced. Nevertheless, cost and practicality issues are still preventing producers from worldwide distribution of the energy saving-product. Practicality and cost issues caused the products to be popular only in underdeveloped countries where modern stoves are rare and expensive. But despite existing problems, experts still believe that the only way to enhance distribution of the product is to treat it as it were any other competitive product in the market. If producers can make a profitable business over the distribution of solar cookers, then new producers would soon arise, and the distribution of products would be gradually enhanced.Despite the strongly rooted theory, the fact still displays abundant obstacles in developing the product into a market competitive product. New designs are created and new inventions that increase the quality of the product are formulated, but the main problem of finding the appropriate market for the product remains. Several produces stated that the design should not aim on quality anymore, but on prices instead. Cheap prices and local production availability is the only way to create available market for the products.  BibliographyAalfs, Marks. n.d. ‘Principles of Solar Box Cooker Design’. Solar Cooking. Retrieved October 1, 2005. Available at http://solarcooking.org/search‘Energy Crisis’. 2005. Wikipedia. Retrieved October 1, 2005. Available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_crisis‘Future Energy Development’. 2005. Wikipedia. Retrieved October 1, 2005. Available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_energy_development‘Horace de Saussure and his hot boxes of the 1700. n.d. Solar Cooking. Retrieved October 1, 2005, 2005. Available at http://solarcooking.org/search‘Solar Cooking – FAQ’. 2001. Solar Cooking. Retrieved October 1, 2005. Available at http://solarcooking.org/searchWareham, Richard C. 1999. ‘The Features and Qualities Necessary for the Acceptance, Manufacture and Distribution of Large Quantities of Solar Cookers’. Sun Gravity. Retrieved October 1, 2005. Available at http://www.sungravity.com/Solar_Cooking/Overview/SunWorld_Article/sunworld_article.html 

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