FranceInfo, French people of the world. “Finland: a solar oven to cook without electricity”

It is one of the appliances that consumes the most energy in a home. An electric oven consumes an average of 100 kW/h per year. Suffice it to say that in a context of reducing energy consumption and fighting greenhouse gases, the solar oven developed in Tampere, Finland, by Eva Wissenz and her small company, Lytefire, takes on all its meaning.

The device takes the form of a 7 m2 vertical wall formed by rows of curved mirrors installed facing the sun. “It is a field of mirrors oriented in such a way that they concentrate sunlight on a focal point,” explains the Frenchwoman, “in this case, in a bread oven, to generate heat without electricity. »

The device also allows you to roast seeds such as peanuts. Here the temperature can reach 300 degrees. Production can reach about one hundred kilos of bread per day, after a heating time of about three-quarters of an hour.

Raised in Corsica, in Saint-Florent, Eva Wissenz has lived in Finland for more than ten years, attracted by the support and loans that the Scandinavian country offers for the creation of companies or pilot projects. Designed for developing countries, this solar oven allows residents to use the sun’s energy most of the year. “In countries where we are very present, like East Africa, the sun is there 10 months a year,” she explains. This means that for 10 months there is no deforestation or purchase of polluting fuel. And there is a saving that allows us to return to wood or charcoal, but only for two months.

For Africa, the ovens are made in Kenya and two trainers offer to help the locals.

Solar bakery training

“We have also created training in solar baking,” says the Frenchwoman, “which allows us, when we arrive somewhere, to train young people who do not have work in this activity, so that they can then create a small local bakery with solar energy. . that pollutes less and creates a bit of economic stability at the local level. »

Purchased mainly by NGOs, the main clients of the Tampere company, these autonomous solar ovens also equip refugee camps. Basic, easy to maintain and with a useful life of 16 to 19 years, there are 150 examples of the LyteFire solar oven in operation around the world. “It is a machine that is outside all the time,” argues Eva Wissenz. Unlike a photovoltaic panel that produces electricity, when it breaks down you have to bring another one from China. Our model is to try to find local people who will purchase a license and manufacture this tool locally. »

The device can also produce steam. The Frenchwoman’s invention even convinced the company’s former technical director, now a baker in Normandy, who bakes his bread in a solar oven. Artisans also make it in France. The company currently has six permanent employees and works between Finland, Switzerland and Kenya. It is also a partner of the Grenoble “low tech” laboratory, which supports people who want to install and use a solar oven. About 9,000 euros for a turnkey device. A sign that investors also believe in the future of the solar oven is that the French company has just closed a first round of financing in Finland, raising two million euros. Read and listen to the column here

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Your company in Tampere, Finland, Lytefire

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