Here are two good examples of work that is very parallel to my thesis topic:
1. Promethian Solar Powered Refrigerators: Promethean Power Systems is an MIT spin-off and they are the developers of these refrigerators for the rural India. These communal refrigerators change lives for those who are not able to store their milk, fruits, vegetables long enough to even use. It uses solar power and also fuel cell technology that works with biodiesel. It is made more efficient than the coolers using Freon by using Thermoelectric cooling.
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2. Solar Powered Water Pump by Solar Aid: Hunger follows drought in the poorest areas of the world. Even though there might be plenty of underground water resources in the area it is very hard work to bring it to surface and distribute it. Therefore, a water pump is extremely needed for those struggling with drought. Solar Aid has an ongoing project of placing solar-powered water pumps that brings up enough water for the communities in Africa to survive, grow their crops and stop hunger. Good nutrition and uncontaminated water keeps the health level high. Farming helps the economy and bring up the living standards.
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Here is a quote from CalFinder blog that very nicely illustrates the possible results of using self-sustaining renewable energy sources in the areas with desperate need:
“Solar power is a long-term investment. It can help rural villages help themselves. Instead of dropping a bag of food on them, you are dropping 20 years or more of instant infrastructure. If you have the means to pump clean water, or at least boil water, then you need less water from outside sources. If you have the means to store food, to cook food, then you need less food. If a family can spend less time gathering water or searching for fuel for the fire, then the kids have more time for school. The parents have more time to rest. The overall quality of life is improved. All this thanks to the sun rising every morning and a few solar panels collecting its valuable energy.”