Solar stoves protect Madagascar’s forests


Lucerne/Mettmenstetten ZH – The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts and the independent organization ADES are working together on solar stoves that work even in sunless hours. The aim is to restrict cooking on open fires in Madagascar and reduce deforestation.

Researchers from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU) and the Association pour le Développement de l’Energie Solaire Suisse-Madagascar(ADES), based in the canton of Zurich, have initiated a study project to enable solar stoves already in use in Madagascar to operate on cloudy days or at night, according to a joint media release.

ADES has been advocating sustainable cooking since 2001 with locally produced solar stoves that limit deforestation of native forests. The stoves, which use reflectors to focus solar energy onto a burning point, are manufactured by 250 employees in Madagascar. In 2022, such stoves could be handed over to 85,000 families.

Bachelor theses from HSLU are also contributing to the new research project. “We rely on external know-how to further develop our solar stoves,” André Grossen of ADES is quoted as saying in the release. “With the Competence Center for Thermal Energy Storage(CCTES) at HSLU, we are now working with a leading research institution for heat storage. This is an extraordinary opportunity for us.”

ADES received a Lipman Family Prize this year for its commitment to Madagascar. The award was for $125,000, which ADES plans to invest in continuing to fund its projects. ce/ww