Solar Cookers International

Solar Cookers International is an NGO promoting and implementing the use of solar cookers in suitable regions of the developing world. Their Solar Cooking Archive contains an informative overview of different principles and designs of solar cookers.

Solar cookers have a wide range of ecological, economic and social benefits. By replacing firewood, they help prevent deforestation and desertification, thus strengthening food security. By not emitting any CO2, they are of climatic benefit. They help families to either save money previously spent on charcoal or the time for collecting firewood, these factors can provide positive stimulation for economic and social development. By providing free energy, they might even incite new business possibilities, e.g., dying fabrics.

Box cookers work by retaining heat. Sun enters through a transparent glass or plastic window into a closed, insulated box, producing a greenhouse effect. The silvery (aluminum) inside of the box reflects the energy of the sun towards the centered cooking pot whose black color attracts heat. The pot needs to be closed for holding in heat and moisture.

Parabolic cookers use the effect of the parabolic shape, concentrating sun-rays toward one single central focus point, creating a spot of enormous heat and light. It works by the same effect as a magnifying glass focusing sun-rays to start a fire. A black pot is placed at the focus point. These kind of cookers produce enormous heat and cook fast at high temperatures, but require frequent adjustment and supervision for safe operation.

Panel cookers are a mixture of the two principles: Several shiny surfaces focus sunlight onto the black cooking pot. The pot is placed within a heat resistant, transparent plastic bag to create a greenhouse effect. The panels that carry the reflective surface can be of any material, such as, cardboard, windshields or insulation mats. These cookers are the most simple and cheapest to produce.

Leave A Comment