Rønde School in Jutland serves as an excellent reminder than technological inventiveness is not only the province of universities and research institutions. In 1999, a class of 7th grade pupils from Rønde School invented a solar powered cooker which earned them the title of Young Researchers of the Year in 1999.
The solar-powered cooker, which uses a parabolic dish to focus the sun's rays on a heating element, has since been manufactured and sent out to several developing countries.
Now Rønde School's cooker has led to the invention of an interesting derivative device – a solar-powered refrigeration plant, reports professional journal Ingeniøren (The Engineer). Finn Skaarup Jensen, a teacher at the school, told Ingeniøren: "The idea was born out of the solar cooker, when an engineer came along and said that since we were able to reach such high temperatures at the heating element, we should also be able to make ice."
The new product, called Ice By Sun, has been developed by Sunfoss and consists of a electronically steered parabolic solar thermal array which heats water to provide the energy to drive an evaporator-condenser refrigeration circuit. The refrigeration plant is reported to be able to make up to 35 kilos of ice per day under Danish climatic conditions.
Sunfoss sees Africa as a particular country that can benefit from this system, which uses the freely available energy of the sun and is not dependent on other – often unreliable or unavailable – energy sources.