Indigenous Suruí using the SOL5 & Dehydrator in the Amazon

Posted 19 January 2019 by Will Cleaver.

The first phase of our project in Brazil with Forest Trends to empower indigenous Suruí peoples with solar thermal energy shows a great success. Here are a few insights on this phase!

Local construction of the Lytefire
One of our Lytefire designs is optimized for local construction. With help from a local metal shop in Cacoal, William Cleaver was able to fabricate the equipment in 3 weeks, including everything from sourcing materials, welding and installation of the Lytefire.

One of the the reasons it’s easy to build a Lytefire and dehydrator or oven is that the materials needed are readily available almost all over the world.

We rented a space in a local metal shop, hired professional welding skills for some of the more complicated welding and painting works.

Soon enough it was time to bring the Lytefire solar concentrator and solar dehydrator application to their new indigenous Suruí users living on the edge of the Amazon jungle.

Construction of the Lytefire 5 Solar Dehydration application.
It can be built in a small space using simple, locally available tools and materials.
The new home of the Lytefire solar concentrator at the edge of the Amazon forest.
Together with the help of the Suruí, the device was quickly installed.

Forest Trends and the Suruí

This was all made possible by our partnership with Forest Trends, whom we partnered up with to get started with this project in Rondônia, Brazil.

Now the indigenous Suruí are dehydrating the Babassu Nut with the Lytefire Dehydrator, and the results are great: the Lytefire dehydrated the nuts in five and a half hours whereas before it took them 4 days to dry them on the ground under the sun.

The Babassu Nut in the tree.
The Babassu Nut shelled and de-shelled.
The Suruí de-shelling the Babassu Nut.

We look forward to continuing working with Forest Trends and the Suruí to scale up this success, build more Lytefire solar dehydrators for the Suruí peoples and others, and also diversify into solar ovens that they can use to bake goods with the sun for free; greatly augmenting their produce and making then more autonomous.

The Lytefire Dehydrator in use by the Suruí for Babassu Nut drying.




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