Direct Cremate

How Far Away is Solar Cremation?

Eco-conscious people prefer cremation, but there are still environmental concerns. Solar cremation could be the solution, but how soon can it be used?
Is Solar Cremation Around the Corner?
Is Solar Cremation Around the Corner?

Today, death care is rapidly evolving after many decades of offering a single standard form of disposition performed in the same way for basically every person. Even traditional cremation was considered way out of the norm not long ago. Of course, now cremation is more common than burial, and completely different options like natural organic reduction are available in some states. 

Something a lot of people have wondered about is solar-powered cremation. It seems like solar can power just about everything else, and burning fossil fuels is one of the few eco-friendly complaints about cremation. But is solar-powered cremation a real possibility in the future? Let’s find out!

Does Solar Cremation Technology Currently Exist?

Yes. A little more than a decade ago solar cremation technology really took off and major steps were taken toward using it for real world applications. 

The idea of electric cremation chambers has been around for a while now. Going electric would reduce concerns over burning fossil fuels and the pollution it can create. There’s just one problem. Today, natural gas is the number one power source for generating electricity. So if you’re using conventional electricity supplied by the local utility, fossil fuels are still being sourced and used in the process. 

But harnessing the sun’s UV rays to generate energy isn’t an easy process. The International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology (IRJET) analyzed the use of solar-powered furnace cremation that utilizes a sun concentrator to heat the retort. Using photovoltaic solar panels to convert the energy that’s captured into enough heat for cremation just isn’t possible at this time. Instead, a sun concentrator that uses reflectors is what has been used for solar cremation. The Scheffler Reflector is a huge mirror-like dish that has been used to test out the possibility of cremating a body only using solar energy.

The IRJET found that while it is possible, there were several shortcomings that the funeral industry would have to overcome for completely solar cremation to be a viable option. 

What Are the Limitations of Solar Cremation?

The limitations of solar cremation are very similar to other solar applications. Namely, if the sun isn’t shining, then the retort isn’t running. Without a backup source of power, cremations can’t happen.

Another possible limitation is appropriate sites for solar-powered crematoriums. There needs to be good sun exposure for capturing solar rays, and that isn’t the case for many existing funeral homes. 

Is Solar Cremation Being Offered Anywhere?

Solar cremation has been used in India where the cremation rate is 75%. However, it isn’t widely available at this time. We’re still in the initial phases of figuring out the technology and creating protocols for its use. 

However, some funeral homes are using a workaround solution. Instead of generating heat with the sun, there are funeral homes that are installing solar panel systems to generate electricity that’s then used to power the retort. Next up – generating energy by cremating people. Essentially, the heat that’s created during the cremation process can be captured and converted to offset the energy that’s used.

At Direct Cremate we keep things simple, and one way to do that is to keep up on the latest innovations that make cremation more efficient. Solar-powered cremation may not be available where you live, but our direct cremation services do reduce the carbon footprint and cost. Call or text to learn more about arranging services.