Anyone who has ever taken pitta bread out of the toaster will know that it has an exceptional ability absorb and retain heat. One Greek man had his eureka moment when making his lunch one day and thought what if he could put his pitta to better use? Petros Psomi was an engineer for many years, however with the current economic climate he found himself unemployed and struggling to pay his bills. Things went from bad to worse when the traditional solar thermal heating system on his roof broke leaving Petros, his wife and their fifteen children without any form of hot water. Petros had his brainwave when helping his wife bake fresh pitta bread for a village festival.
“Every time I picked the pita bread out of the oven it was like picking molten lava from a volcano. No matter how long I waited once I cut it open the steam burnt my hands. I realised that this pitta bread could possibly be the most heat absorbent material known to man and could be the solution to our heating issues. I got to work straight away”
Petros initially set about making a scale model utilising the pitta bread and immediately found it was easy to heat a bucket of water using some copper tubing threaded through the bread and down into a sealed bucket.
He then worked on the pitta bread itself to see if it was possible to improve the recipe and increase its solar absorbing potential. Amazingly he and his wife believe they have come up with the perfect recipe, however they keep this a closely guarded and are likely to patent this in the near future.
Then came the real test. Petros unhooked his existing solar thermal system, ran copper tubing across the roof and connected this back up to his existing hot water tank. His wife Maria then set about baking 750 pitta breads in order to cover as much of the roof as possible. The resulting system has proved to be super-efficient and very cost effective:
“When we turned the system on we couldn’t believe how efficient it was. We can get all 15 kids washed on a good day and even when the sun isn’t shining it still makes the water pretty warm. When you think some people pay thousands of pounds for their solar thermal systems, yet here we are with free hot water for just a mere £200!”
Petros believes he can use the system to help revive the flagging Greek economy.
“One thing we have plenty of in Greece is pitta bread and sunshine so combining the two to make free energy is a win win! We want to share this technology for free and power the nation. We believe that this could really save the country billions of pounds.”
We asked Petros how he overcame the one of the most obvious flaws with his system. How do you keep the birds from eating the bread? Petros pulled out a shotgun and replied:
“This is how. It actually is another positive as we can now heat and eat for free. The roof attracts many birds every day and I can now feed my family much easier than before. If the pitta bread does get eaten we simply bake a bit more.”
We are not sure if this will catch on in the UK but one thing is for sure this is something that will turn some heads! Petros says that he has been overwhelmed by support from his local and national communities and is now working on new solutions involving hummous and taramasalata but is not at liberty to disclose any further details at this stage.