Now that spring time is here, I personally can’t wait for the barbecuing to start. It’s one of the best parts of the warm weather, basking in the sun all day as the smell of steak and chicken and asparagus and zucchini grilling on the barbecue wafts through the air. I love summertime.
But there are of course some downsides to grilling. If you don’t pay attention for a few minutes, your food can easily end up charred, which doesn’t just taste bad, but is also known to cause cancer. Plus, the idea of burning propane cooking my heat never seemed 100% healthy to me in the first place.
So when I heard about an innovative new solar powered grill, I had to learn more.
What You Need to Know About This Solar Powered Grill
It’s called the Wilson Grill and was developed by David Wilson, an MIT professor. The grill works by using a Fresnel lens to harness the sun to melt a compound called Lithium Nitrate. The melted Lithium Nitrate acts as a solar battery, allowing the energy to be stored for uses later in the day.
Now that all of that science is out of the way, let’s talk about what that means. For one thing, the grill could conceivably reach temperatures of 450 degrees Fahrenheit, plenty hot enough to cook pretty much anything you could want. And the heat could be stored for up to 25 hours, meaning that you could cook well after the sun had gone down, possibly even the following morning.
The Benefits of a Solar Powered Grill
In developing countries with limited infrastructure, the Wilson Grill could revolutionize life. It offers a viable way to not only cook food, but perhaps also to heat water or homes, and even generate electricity. Pretty good for a barbecue.
Still, while the Wilson Grill offers potentially amazing benefits to people in developing countries, it also has some significant advantages to traditional propane or charcoal grilling. Because it is solar powered there are no harmful CO2 emissions, and you would never have to worry about running out of propane again.
Since there would be no unpredictable flames, the heat the Wilson Grill provides would also conceivably be more even, preventing you from burning your food and avoiding the harmful char.
While the Wilson Grill would potentially be more expensive than a traditional one, you also wouldn’t have to buy charcoal or propane ever again.
Why the Wilson Grill is Not Yet for Sale
The initial concept for the solar powered grill was developed in 2011 and yet, there are still no Wilson Grills available today. Why do you think that is?
Thermal energy storage is a growing field with potentially vast practical applications, the grill being just one example, but until there is a greater demand for healthier and more environmentally friendly alternatives, things are unlikely to change.
So the question becomes, would you grill on a Wilson Grill if you could?