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EDITORIAL: Hot new item grabs attention

This falls into the what will they think of next? category. Maybe youve heard people joking about it being hot enough to fry an egg on the hood of a car. Well, that quip was on the right track.

A Pictou County business recently landed the distribution of a solar oven that cooks using just the energy of the sun. Stright-MacKay Ltd. in New Glasgow discovered the GoSun Stove at a dealer show and will be handling this product, likely to appeal to marine and recreational markets due to its convenience. Theres no need to carry the materials typically needed to start a fire, no need for the usual power source of electricity or combustible fuels.

Were continually amazed by new technology, but really, who would have ever thought something like this would come along?

On the other hand, when we see possibilities like this, something fired by the power of the sun, it really does invite us to ask: what will they think of next? That lucky ol sun, got nothin to do, but roll around heaven all day – maybe, but theres a lot of utilitarian potential in that orb.

As detailed in an article in Tuesdays edition of The News, the GoSun Stove includes a durable borosilicate, evacuated glass tube cooking chamber, two foldable parabolic reflectors that fold to protect the tube like a clamshell and a stainless steel cooking tray. It heats up as high as 288C (550F), and can cook a meal in the range of 20 minutes.

We might think of this as a specialty appliance, geared toward users in a specific set of circumstances. Some might be attracted to it as well as a novelty item.

But when we see ingenious innovations such as this, its indicative that possibilities abound in harnessing solar power.

As provinces, the country and the international community seek ways to cut down on their use of fossil fuels – and corresponding carbon dioxide emissions – hydro, wind and solar energy are the sources that arise most often in the conversation.

With solar, most people are familiar with the photovoltaic panels available, and perhaps with solar thermal applications. Its wonderful technology, but like many alternative energy sources has its limits in where, when and how much it can deliver effectively.

When we see exciting new advances such as a stove, we know the book has yet to be written on solar energy possibilities.

Expect to see research to find other materials that can yield an efficient source of usable energy when acted on by the suns rays. Expect to see advances in capability to store electrical energy – one of the challenges often cited in discussion about the solar industry.

We can also count on continual steps forward in construction industry standards toward buildings that take greater advantage of the energy provided by the sun.

Much has been achieved already, but the journey continues.

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