No Sun? Get a GoSun Fusion solar cooker and live better electrically.

The GoSun Fusion probably won’t save the world, but the design thinking behind it might.

GoSun has been our GoTo solar cooker since we first tried what they now call the GoSun Sport. I thought it was a totally brilliant design, using the evacuated tubes developed for solar hot water heaters to concentrate the sun for cooking. But the tube was quite small and limited what you could cook. Then we tried the GoSun Grill, with a big custom-made evacuated tube that was much easier to cook with. But it was big and heavy. And neither of them worked very well when it got seriously cloudy or obviously, at night.

© Gosun

Unlike architecture, which takes years and where every building is different, the wonderful thing about industrial design is that designers have the opportunity to keep learning, improving and adapting the same concepts. The GoSun team are going full Goldilocks here; the first design was a bit too small, the second perhaps a bit too big, and this one, the GoSun Fusion, looks just right. It’s blowing through Kickstarter right now, just like its predecessors did.

There is another wonderful feature of the GoSun Fusion. The GoSun stoves are unique because of their evacuated tube that acts like a thermos bottle, and the special coatings that trap heat inside. And just as super-insulated houses don’t need much heat to stay warm, a small super-insulated stove doesn’t need much heat to cook.

Easybake cartoonConsumerist/ The Easybake ran on a hundred watts./via

So the GoSun Fusion has a 150 watt heating element built into the cook tray. That’s not a lot of heat, just the equivalent of 1.5 old-style Kenner Easybake ovens with their 100 watt incandescent bulbs. But inside that glass tube, it’s enough.

It is a perfect example this TreeHugger’s mantra: Reduce Demand instead of increasing supply. It is also an example of the kind of design thinking that we need everywhere. They do it all with “ultra-efficiency”:

  • Reduce Power Consumption – you’d need a generator for most ovens
  • Reduce Weight – less power to fuel the oven, means less stuff to carry
  • Retain Heat and Moisture – meals stay hot and juicy for hours thanks to vacuum insulation and high-temp. silicone seals
  • Off-Grid – the Fusion can be powered by a PowerBank that fits in your pocket

Seriously, that is how we should be designing houses and cars, not just solar stoves.

How it works© GoSun

Years ago, German companies spent serious money developing the evacuated tube and the coatings that lined them to hold in the heat. The Chinese then made them affordable. The GoSun designers adapted them for their stove, in a great example of what Charles Jencks called “adhocism”:

Basically it involves using an available system or dealing with an existing situation in a new way to solve a problem quickly and effectively. It is a method of creation relying particularly on resources which are already at hand.

But the GoSun Fusion carries it a step further, pulling together all these different ideas, and is an example of how modern technologies can converge to address the problems we face; just a decade ago, the batteries and solar panels needed to supply 150 watts for an hour would have been unaffordable.

But now they can, so instead of relying only on solar power directly to cook, they time-shift the sun with the panel and batteries. Or, one can also sip a little power from the grid or the car battery if you need a bit more juice.

cooking with bosun© GoSun

The GoSun Fusion isn’t going to replace everyone’s stove. But what I love about it is the attitude behind it; the continuous improvement, the ultra-efficiency, the scaling down of demand so that it is easy to match supply from the sun, from batteries, from anything.

The GoSun Fusion probably won’t save the world, but the design thinking behind it might.

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2018-07-10 16:29:03 – Source: