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Felix Adamczyk is a 21 year-old electrotechnology student at ETH Z├╝rich. A hospital internship position in the African country of Tanzania inspired him to develop a solar powered ECG Machine, “Kadiri.” The machine is immensely useful for developing countries who have little electricity to spare if any at all.

For more info on the device, read here: Science Daily: Student Devises Solar Energy ECG Useful In Developing Countries And Troubled Areas

I think when most people mention solar energy, it’s to emphasize some of the amazing technological achievements of today. The use of solar power is most often discussed in reference to saving energy. Even when talking about solar use in remote regions, it seems like people are usually talking about camping or cabin trips, maybe odd research jobs.

It’s easy to forget the great benefits solar power technology can provide for those who have no access to an electrical grid because that’s the way their country is. I mean, all the money savings and environmental benefits of solar energy often cloud all the possible improvements it can and does provide for the health/quality of life of people who have never had the chance to waste electricity in their lifetimes.

Florida is putting at least $50 million to all state universities in an effort to coordinate renewable energy research. One of these schools, Florida Gulf Coast University, won $8.5 million. With it they’ll be installing 16 acres of solar panels which may supply nearly 20% of all its electricity. Arizona State University will be the only other school whose solar power output can compare. This is all happening due to Governor Charlie Crist’s renewable energy emphasis.

Solar Power Panel

Solar Power Panel

It’s exciting to see interest in solar power technologies catch on in different states. To me, it seems like computer technology. I’m talking about how computers started out big and bulky and expensive but of great interest to schools and other institutes of research. But today, many American households have more than one. It would be fantastic to see solar power follow that same route.

Anyway, you can read more about that Florida article here: Florida pouring $50M into solar energy research at state universities

From their home page: “DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.”

If you’re an American thinking about setting up a solar power system in your home, it’s worth checking this out. What’s great is that you can search by state, technology, incentive type, etc. Even if you’re not planning on setting up such a system, it’s interesting to compare what different states are up to.

I’ve been wanting to try a solar cooker for a while. I guess I should have given it more of a thought during the hotter days of summer when turning on the oven and adding to the heat in the house was a horrible, horrible thought. But I’m still considering it, and in my research have realized that I need to find one that will work in the cloudier days of fall and will come with an electric backup if necessary. I don’t want to risk sacrificing some hard-earned food and meals with my inexperience in outdoor cooking. My family may not forgive me for it.

This may just fit my needs. It seems to come with a lot of accessories to help me get started, has four pans that can cook inside at once for some multi-course mealing if desired, and provides an electric power support for the days that might be too overcast, or when I start too late and the sun goes down before the roast is finished.