Wacky and Extreme Solar Setups

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In an ever-growing effort to preserve the planet, innovative engineers from various countries continue amazing us with awesome solar creations that serve a specific purpose. While some are designed merely for fun, others have been instrumental in helping civilizations survive.

Solar Cookers

Increasingly, conventional backyard barbecue grills are being replaced by an array of solar cookers. From simple DIY versions to elaborate pre-made models, these solar setups propose to ably cook everything from s’mores to complete multi-course meals using nothing more than the reflected rays of the sun. While portable designs may feature foil-lined cardboard boxes or upturned umbrellas, more extreme solar stoves are fixed in design and are constructed of highly polished steel supported by steel frames. Introduced into third world countries, the inventions serve a variety of purposes from meal preparation to water sterilization. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/1354991334/in/photolist-34JFHy-39kGXB-39kH38-8waSwB-8wdTNS-acKZ9E-aXq89M-c63W6s-7AcLd3-7A938g

World Solar Challenge

Every year, dozens of unusual creations manufactured by teams originating around the world venture to Australia to compete in a 3,000 kilometer trek across the country. The solar pioneers construct sun-powered vehicles that compete in one of three categories designated as the Adventure class, the Challenger class and the Cruiser class. Each class requires that participating vehicles feature certain specifications that include closely resembling conventional cars, having efficient speed oriented design or boasting traditional designs. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/10879871966/in/photolist-hzqbTq-awLJYX-awLLBk-awLJDM-awLKig-awLLgn-gnYH1c-grrpRS-grszft-grrUq6-grskXB-grru9F-gthCE5-grrTPV-gsondq-grqH2L-grsjaS-grs8tt-grqVij-gtbPUD-grr7mm-grshLM-grqAPL-gtbQjE-gumnzj-guntFC-gunE7V-gunybB-gunJEc-gumYCM-gun3ZH-gunLHk-gtjAfu-gtjP6u-gthrX2-gtm3J8-gtiZgn-gtgBrd-gtgPFK-gthtQ9-gti6Xk-gsov4q-gtgFeK-gtgJnD-gtkUAp-gtiQVJ-gtjpuo-gthnQJ-gti9JH-gtik4G-gthKUz

Sunshine in Viganella

For a reported 800 years, the little Italian community of Viganella lived in near darkness during the winter months until recently. Established in a deep valley surrounded by peaks towering 1,600 meters tall, the sun’s rays remain shielded behind the imposing landscape for approximately 84 days. The lack of sunshine often caused the majority of the community’s almost 200 residents to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. However, for around the cost of 100,000 euros, community officials and financiers developed a solution. Engineers constructed a massive extreme solar mirror from sheets of steel. The awesome solar display measures a staggering nine-by-five meters. Strategically positioned at the top of one of the mountain peaks, the mirror capably reflects the sun into the town square for around eight hours everyday. http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=Viganella+mirror

Alpine Capsule

Looking reminiscent of an alien starship, the solar pioneers at Lovegrove Studies developed this concept that offers an eco-friendly means of enjoying mountain camping. While blending in with the environment by reflecting the surroundings, the solar set-ups provide all the comforts of home by using the exterior solar panels and a wind turbine. Though opaque from the exterior, the interior provides the occupant with a clear 360-degree view of the landscape. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3037413389/in/photolist-5Cpxbn-5CpxcM-5CtQ97-5Pur3z-5RxezY-652JuH-6s8wnb-6HAVwk-6JS3z5-6T5o16-6UqmVC-7bQhp5-7gp5GN-aib9oJ-7W2eaT-8c1hNm-ebgzfs-9yaz1B-9ydxDd-9ydx5f-cFn2zG-dW8sg7-dW2Rtn-dW8sto-dW2Rza-dW2RLr-dW2RDi-8aJ15r-ai8kTM-8dH8je-aaDA1S-8bZUq1-eiufNz-ai8kVg-7Jq6QY-8xs3Kn-e6CApU-cYmSgA-cYmS2w-cYmS9N-a4epMb-hdBm6z-7W5W7B-eVaxNH-dtnHwE-dW2RPD-8hp7Sc-838MmV-d2uEmb-cdvtWS-8hp7SH