The solar-oven is a useful and well proved alternative to burning wood. It is an extremely simple cooker which relies exclusively on the direct radiation of the sun. Most dishes can be cooked in it, and this without additional work, quite the contrary! Cooking with the solar-oven does not need supervision because stirring the pan is not necessary. The solar-oven functions according to the greenhouse effect, i.e. the light rays from the sun (not heat-rays) penetrate the window and are absorbed by the dark surfaces in the inside and so changed into heat. As the inside of the oven is airtight and as glass is largely impermeable to heat radiation, the temperature inside rises until the losses by heat-radiation are equal to the energy that falls in. To reduce the losses of heat the window is double glassed and the inside of the oven is insulated all-round. Thereby temperatures above 100°C are obtained, enough for cooking and even for baking.
As only little heat can be stored, we need direct sun radiation during most of the cooking time. The following construction manual should enable even an amateur to build a solid and long-lasting solar cooker. The necessary material is easy to get and not expensive. The basic measurements may be adapted according to given facts (e.g. different size of the glass, longer legs). You can get construction manuals for other models from group ULOG in Basel/Switzerland. Construction kits and ready-made solar-ovens of all models can be delivered.
In addition to the solar-oven a construction manual on how to build solar-dryers for the conservation of food and for a simple solar water-heaters is available, too. Solar Community Kitchens as developed by W.Scheffler serve for big communities like schools, hospitals and monasteries . They suit for cooking and baking for several hundred people. We are glad to give more information on request. Members of our group also travel abroad to help initialise solar-cooker projects. Local artisans are instructed and trained in construction and use of the cookers. Dissemination-strategies are developed together.
Financial support might come from Globosol (a Swiss organisation for the promotion of solar cooking) or other associations.
New members are highly welcome!