Solar cooker
Page data
Keywords solar, cookers, Homepage
SDGs Sustainable Development Goals SDG02 Zero hunger
SDG07 Affordable and clean energy
Authors David Williams
Tiago Galletti
Joshua M. Pearce
Chris Watkins
Tom Sponheim
Published 2006
License CC BY-SA 3.0
Language English (en)
Page views 6,162

A solar cooker converts sunlight to heat energy that is retained for cooking. Sunlight is the "fuel." The requirements for solar cooking are very simple. You must be able to place the solar cooker in a location that gets sun for several hours and be protected from strong wind. Solar cookers, obviously do not work at night or on very cloudy days. The sunlight is absorbed on dark surfaces that heat up. Food cooks best in dark, shallow, thin metal pots with dark, tight-fitting lids to hold in heat and moisture. To retain the heat created when the black pot absorbs the suns rays some form of transparent cover is needed. This can be as simple as a clear plastic bag or as complicated as evacuated multiple layers of glass. One method to speed the cooking process is to use reflectors to increase the concentration of sunlight on your collector.

The overarching authority on solar cooking is Solar Cookers International (SCI). They spread solar cooking awareness and skills worldwide, particularly in areas with plentiful sunshine and diminishing sources of cooking fuel. SCI has enabled 30,000 families in Africa to cook with the sun's energy, freeing women and children from the burdens of gathering wood and carrying it for miles. SCI also maintains an excellent wiki of solar cooker designs.

Projects on Appropedia[edit | edit source]

Designs[edit | edit source]

Solar cookers are solar concentrators where precision and efficiency has been sacrificed for ease of construction and use of readily available materials. Inexact geometries that still allow for water boiling or bread baking temperatures are used.

Solar cookers are usually of the solar funnel, Parabolic (e.g. Focus-balanced paraboloid) or compound parabolic type. See also Using Two Parabolic Troughs to Simulate a Paraboloid.

Some calculations relevant to the design of solar cookers with paraboloidal reflectors can be found on the Sun related calculations page.

Solar Cookers World Network[edit | edit source]

The Solar Cookers World Network is an alliance of more than 500 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), manufacturers, and individuals actively promoting solar cooking in more than 100 countries. This wiki-based site allows Network participants to share information and collaborate on projects and research. Solar cooking is an important part of Integrated Cooking, which also includes the use of fuel-efficient woodstoves and heat-retention cookers.

Solar cooking and violence[edit | edit source]

Solar cooking has an unexpected relationship - good and bad - with violence.

  • Anecdotes exist that solar cookers are not promoted by some NGOs in Africa due to domestic violence. When the weather has not been suitable for cooking, and the husband returns home to find no meal ready, he may become violent towards his wife. (This raises other issues, but one immediate issue is not to aggravate the victim's situation by having an unreliable cooker.)[verification needed] This failure of the meal to cook may have a technological solution: integrated cooking (see Wikia:Solarcooking:Integrated cooking method).
  • In Darfur, solar cooking has meant women have not had to leave safe areas searching for firewood - thus these cookers are keeping them out of harms way.

The points above come from email conversations. I hope to find get people with experience in these things to contribute to Appropedia. --Chriswaterguy · talk 00:20, 31 October 2007 (PDT)

External links[edit | edit source]