A new solar apparatus has been created to use the sun to heat up water to create steam. This steam can be used for sterilizing equipments, medical apparatus, or to cool food.
As I understand it, this applies the same concept that is used on solar ovens. We tried it once weekend. I built a crummy version but it worked.
This new autoclave device can really help in situations and places where electricity is scarce or unreliable.
Harnessing the power of the sun is ageless. We all know that solar and other renewable power sources is key to cleaner environment and, one day, will wield us off the current energy sources that produce green house gases.
In first world conditions, we don't worry about cooking oil, having clean water (unless you live in a fracking zone), or electricity. But these same renewable tech should be given equal considerations in helping third world nations or far off villages with their basic and medical needs.
This new implementation by Rice University is called the Capteur Soleil.
There is no mention how soon this tech will reach those who needs it but soon the better. And hopefully, sooner.
More at Earthtechling.