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Solar powered roaster in Peru

hybrid-solar-roaster

The UK may be experiencing its longest period of heat wave since 1976 with long hot sunny days and high temperatures but sadly it is not consistently this way enough to start doing what they do in Peru where they are using the sun to roast coffee beans.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), one of the world’s largest mechanical engineers has recently awarded a grant of $500,000 to a small Peruvian coffee start up. A large portion of the money has gone towards creating a solar powered roasting machine that is completely environmental friendly and completely renewable.

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The machine captures the power of the sun through an array of solar panels and then directs that power through a series of directed mirrors that can generate heat up to 200 degrees C (392F). The sun, however, does not do everything as the steel drum containing the coffee beans and the cooling tray beneath are both still hand powered.

The inventor of the machine is Félix Escalante who runs a Peruvian coffee brand and now offered the system to other coffee farms across the region. In awarding the money for the solar powered roaster ASME said: “Peru’s rural coffee farmers make on average $2.50 [per kilo] for raw coffee beans, compared to roasters further down the supply chain, who command as much as $30 [per kilo] for roasted coffee beans. Solar Hybrid Coffee Roaster provides small-scale rural farmers with the technology to roast their own coffee beans with sunlight and helps boost the value of their end product. Solar roasting provides higher incomes by minimizing costs of production, promotes organic practices, decreases CO2 output, and allows small-scale farmers to continue to work and live in remote areas.”

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