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Monday September 17, 2007

IT man invents solar oven


JOHOR BARU: After successfully inventing the solar kettle, Alex Kee is now improvising his contraption to come up with a solar oven. 

“Let’s call this a gift of sunshine from Malaysia to the world. It is our 50th anniversary, so it is a Merdeka present to the poor people in the world. 

Difference in size: Kee illustrating how much bigger the solar oven will be compared with the solar kettle.
“Sunshine represents hope and love,” said Kee, who runs an IT business. 

Kee said although the solar oven is almost redundant for Malaysians as we enjoy an abundance of energy resources, the device would serve well in sub-Saharan and countries with mountainous terrain. 

He explains that because of scarce resources, people there have to make a choice between food and fuel. 

“If they keep cutting down trees for fuel, then the environment won’t be sustainable and their crops would not grow well,” he said in an interview. 

Kee said solar energy is free and does not damage the environment. 

The solar oven, just like the solar kettle, is a scaled down model of the solar heater.  

It looks like a stick of bamboo, and contains a metal tube and is surrounded by a vacuum glass tube. 

“It can go up to 220°C. When the sky is clear of clouds, it can reach boiling point in half an hour,” he said. 

While the opening of the solar kettle is about 47mm in diameter, Kee said the solar oven would be 100mm in diameter. 

“This is so that you can put your hand inside. You can use it like a tandoori oven, or use it to cook porridge. Basically, it bakes anything you can stuff inside it,” he said. 

However, like many freelance inventors, Kee needs funds to mass-produce the solar oven to distribute them to people who need them. 

“I need about RM200,000 to come up with 1,000 units for the first batch. Once the mould is made, the subsequent batches should be cheaper,” he said.  

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