Today Lytefire powers several solar bakeries, roasteries, kitchens and even a brewery and even a sauna. Every time this solar concentrating technology is used, it means no electricity, no charcoal and no firewood is burnt. Good for the planet, and good for the users’ wallets. But how good?
Lytefire was designed to support the energy transition everywhere and in practical steps. We did not want to wait for big subsidies or the next green energy plan, we wanted to push a solution that can pay for itself quickly, that is simple and maintainable, and that helps people gain income and freedom.
The savings with Lytefire are actually incredible. Depending on the case, returns of more than 2 300 € per year are not uncommon. And this is only counting the savings made with Lytefire on electricity, charcoal or firewood. It is not counting the additional profits generated by the sale of the baked goods themselves. The numbers achieved depend entirely on the performance of each bakery business.
What’s interesting, is that even lower performing businesses can reach a good return with Lytefire. Using our payback calculator, you can calculate your particular savings and see how long it takes for Lytefire to pay for itself. You only need to inform yourself about the price you pay for the energy you use to bake, cook or roast. After that, adjust the following points in the calculator below and it will calculate automatically the savings for you. Don’t forget to chose the right currency (options below the calcualtor).
- Workdays: Adjust the number of days your bakery will run per year
- Production: Adjust the average amount of bread you will bake on each of these days
- Energy Comparison: Pick the energy source you want to compare Lytefire to. Lytefire can replace Electricity, Wood or Charcoal
- Energy Cost: Enter your local energy price. Depending on the Energy Comparison selected, this will be the cost per kilogram of firewood or charcoal, or your local electricity price
- Investment: Enter the cost of Lytefire, which is your one-time investment at the start of your bakery operation. Check our shop for prices in your region
- Hit Recalculate to calculate your savings
Use this calculator to estimate your energy savings with Lytefire.
The Savings Calculator in Detail
Even though the calculator allows all numbers to be adjusted freely, there is 1 core assumption that makes everything work: The amount of energy that’s used to bake each kilogram of bread.
Now this varies a lot. Depending on the type of oven and its efficiency, one oven may be using a lot more firewood, charcoal or electricity than another.
Nevertheless, we tried to make safe assumptions, always comparing Lytefire to common oven performances experienced in the real world. If you have a different oven, that uses more or less fuel per kilogram of bread baked, please feel free to share the info with us so we can integrate it into the calculator. Email: Urs Riggenbach, CEO, email@example.com
Electricity needed per Kilogram of Bread
Electricity is measured in kilowatt hours [kWh] and based on a study looking at 13 different bakeries in the Ukraine in 2021, for one kilogram of bread, 0.98 kWh of electricity is needed.
Compare: Callum: 2.2kWh to bake 3.6kg in Uganda. 1.6kwh per kg.
Compre: Caluum Allen: For a typical baking day Allen estimates he would consume 20.46kWh a day, baking approximately 39.9kg of wet wet product. This means that for every 1kWh used, approximately 1.95kg of product can be baked.→ 0.5kwh/kgB
Source (Slide 29)
Firewood needed per Kilogram of Bread
Based on Arnaud’s experience in France, to bake 20 kg of bread in a wood-fired oven, it takes 8-10kg to preheat the oven, and then 8 kg of bread to bake each batch. So 18 kg of wood for 20kg of bread, meaning 0.9kg of firewood per resulting kilogram of bread. Arnaud says: "This is a light and efficient oven, a traditional wood oven (in rock) may use at the minimum 10 to 15 times more wood".
The FAO has reported 0.8 to 1.5kg of wood is needed per kg of baked bread (source). This means on average, 12.5kg of wood is used and if you use a traditional oven, the use could be factors more. We’ve used the 12.5kg as a baseline for our calculator.
Charcoal needed per Kilogram of Bread
We sometimes equip Lytefires with charcoal burners, so that when our entrepreneurs have a pressing order, they can deliver even if it means baking before sunrise or during a rainy day. Callum McRobbie who worked with us to deliver entrepreneur trainings in Uganda and Tanzania, tracked the charcoal use for baking. His findings were that for each kg of bread baked, about 0.2kg of charcoal was used. However, these findings were from using charcoal in our highly insulated Lytefire ovens. We estimate that in regular, uninsulated charocal ovens consumption will be much higher. In the calculator, we’ve set the assumption at 0.4kg of charcoal per kg of bread. The number can be changed based on your comparison.
More and more, charcoal prices are rising everywhere, due to deforestation and laws that prohibit charcoal from illegally logged wood. Lytefire is here to provide an alternative that will never increase in price: Solar energy is and will always be free.
Now, what exactly are the savings possible with Lytefire?
The short answer: Find out yourself by calculating your own savings now using our payback calculator.
In many cases, depending of the productivity of the bakery, savings in the thousands of euros per year are not uncommon. In our particular test cases, with 200 solar operating days per year, with 80 kg of bread baked on average per day, the savings of electricity exceed 2 300 € and this is calculated using one of the lowest electricity prices we have come across. So your savings are going to be even higher if your electricity price is higher than 0.15 € per kWh.
So, the savings are significant and depending on the Lytefire product you’ve chosen, reach a return on investment in 2-3 years. It’s a quick return, considering that other renewable energy solutions like photovoltaics are paying for themselves in e.g. 15 years.
What’s more, energy prices are on the rise. Conflicts are driving up fuel prices, deforestation is increasing firewood prices, and charcoal is starting to be banned in many regions — as the world is trying to move away from these polluting fules in any case.
Even through in theory we reach really fast payback with Lytefire, it takes real entrepreneurship to make a success with Lytefire. This is why we are so proud of all the pioneering entrepreneurs who have made Lytefire work for their bakeries, roasteries and more. No matter if they are in urban Kenya or rural France — the sun shines everywhere and it is thanks to these entrepreneurs that more and more we can see a sustainable future.
And to find the Lytefire that’s right for you, check the options available in our shop.