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Feasibility and Design for Bush Microwave Ovens
A primary cause of harmful deforestation and loss of vegetation cover in poorer countries is the harvesting of plant parts for cooking fires. Imported fuels such as kerosene may be impracticable or unaffordable in remote regions. This zomb requires an analysis of how a manually-powered flywheel generator can run a simple but safe microwave cap, to cook food in a locally-supplied ceramic pot buried in the ground. The microwave cap and the flywheel generator components would be fabricated in an industrial country and supplied to the users. Users would perform a simple assembly of flywheels and fill the circular rim with water to supply inertial mass. More details in the attached file ZBL139X.pdf. (ZBL#139).
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The idea of producing cheap manually-powered microwave ovens for use in remote and less-developed regions is explored in the attached report.
The report notes difficulties in the area of supplying essential factory-made components for local assembly with locally-made housings, such as a ceramic pot buried in the ground. First, the magnetron which generates the microwaves has to have precision housing and assembly to obviate leaks. Second, the microwave enclosure has to be rectangular in cross-section. The report suggests use of refurbished microwave ovens from industrial countries might be a workable solution.
The use of onsite-generated electricity to run a microwave is feasible, say by using a bicycle-linked generator to produce power. However, many minutes of pedalling would be needed to cook a meal. The report also suggest the use of batteries as a alternative power source.
In summary, a manufactured combination of a microwave oven, a solar-cell panel, and lithium-ion batteries should be a viable combination for remote use. In bulk manufacture, a cost of around $100 per combination unit should be achievable. Use in remote communities might still need to be subsidized by outside agencies, but the call on plant material for fires or importation of fuels should be eliminated.
References on photovoltaic power and lithium-ion batteries: http://www.regenpower.com/hybridgen/solar-water-pump.html . http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/news/fuel-economy/8-potential-ev-and-hybrid-battery-breakthroughs#slide-1 .
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