Last updated: September 28, 2015
Brazilian garbage scavengers make solar cookers from scavenged materials using plans that they found here.
News and recent developments
- October 2014: Dr. Paulo Araujo reports: We are working hard in parallel to try to transform the university cafeteria (Federal University of Sergipe) serving approximately 1,000 meals daily to 100% solar. We need support from institutions who wish to help us with this project.
- June 2014: Nicolau Bussolotti Francine of São Paulo, Brazil, and founder of Pleno Sol, is on a tour around the Natural Reseva of "Port Cashew". He is organizing workshops for building and using inexpensive solar cookers as he travels.
- November 2012: Baking with a solar box cooker - In 2010, Nicolau Bussolotti Francine of São Paulo, Brazil, developed a box solar cooker for baking. Francine reports that his model can bake up to one kilo of cookies or 36 muffins at one time. In 2011 he began developing a more powerful bread oven. Using the SCInet wiki, Francine was able to make contact with other solar cooker manufacturers who were using Fresnel lenses. He incorporated multiple plain Fresnel lenses into his new design. His company Plenosol Cozinha Solar has recently filled a large order from an NGO working in the Natural Reserve Serra das Almas.
- November 2012: An experimental solar cooking school has been established by the Energy and Materials Laboratory (LEM) at the Mechanical Engineering School of the Federal University of Sergipe in Brazil. The Project’s Field research is being coordinated in a socially vulnerable community in Brazil by Dr. Paulo Mário Machado Araújo. The Energy and Material Laboratory was founded in 2001. It’s situated in the Mechanical Engineering Department of the Federal University of Sergipe, and is coordinated by the professor Dr. Paulo Mário Machado Araújo. The laboratory works with applied research, focusing on social technologies and trying to improve the quality of life for people living in poor communities. One of LEM´s outstanding projects, the Experimental Solar Kitchen School, was innovational in creating a laboratory in a socially vulnerable community. There it was possible to experience the benefits of solar kitchens to guaranty nutrition, social inclusion, human health and environmental education, as well as the construction of solar ovens, and production of carbon credits. Another project developed at LEM is the SOLAGUA, which studies the disinfection of water using solar energy. A low cost water treatment pilot plant to be used in poor communities was studied, with results measured at 75 liters/day/m2 of water disinfected via solar energy. Other projects with solar energy that are being studied and tested include: dried fruits and vegetables; thermal treatment of concrete for accelerated curing; as well as the production of steam for the development of new solar kitchens or mechanical energy production. One of the most ambitious of LEM’s recent projects is to try to make a solar restaurant at the university, to provide the 1,300 daily student meals. Another challenge is to improve the pilot plant for water disinfection via solar energy. LEM will also promote the development of techniques for the use of low cost materials in solar equipment. Fixed focus solar concentrators are being studied for application in solar kitchens. One objective in particular is to continue teaching how to build and use solar ovens made of cardboard boxes. Governmental institutions have supported some of LEM’s projects, for instance, The Organization of the United Nations for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO), The Foundation of Research Support and Innovation (FAPITEC), as well as the Secretary of Social Inclusion (SEIDES), the latter two in connection with the State of Sergipe.
The history of solar cooking in Brazil
Brazil is the giant of the continent, as seen below in the assessment of nations for solar cooking usage. However, little solar cooking activity has, to our knowledge, taken place in the country. The only indication of interest comes from an individual, Arnoldo Moura Bezerra, an instructor at the Universidade Federal of the Paraiba, who designed and demonstrated the use of a parabolic solar cooker to be used in campgrounds. (Solar Cooker Review Nov '02).
Climate, culture, and special considerations
Solar Cookers International has rated Brazil as the #7 country in the world in terms of solar cooking potential (See: The 25 countries with the most solar cooking potential). The estimated number of people in Brazil with fuel scarcity but ample sun in 2020 is 8,400,000.
In Brazil, huge areas are being transformed into deserts, particularly in Rio Grande do Sul and in the Northeast. By percentages, the state most affected by the desertification is Rio Grande do Norte, with 80.5% of its territory virtually transformed into desert, followed by Pernambuco with 75.2%, Paraiba with 70.3%, Ceara with 59.7%, and Sergipe with 31.3%.
Brazil loses about 300 million dollars annually due to the desertification that takes place principally in the states of the Northeast region and in the north of Minas Gerais. The Brazilian Government’s Annual Report, regarding the major flora of the world, shows that the destruction of the Amazon’s flora continues in a constant rhythm with the growth inspection around the risk areas. The Brazilian Amazon lost 16,926 km2 from the forests between 1998 and 1999.
But the actions up until that time put into effect by the Department of the Environment contributed to a strong reduction in the areas of the Amazon forest that were cleared, and already saw a fall of 90% in 2009. The reduction of these extensive green areas is responsible for the reduction of rainfall levels, for the increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which ultimately causes the greenhouse effect, even turning soil vulnerable to erosion.
The annual demand of firewood per family would be 3.1 kg x 365 days, which is near 1,131.5Kg or approximately 1.2 tons annually.T his reasoning assumes that the mass use of firewood is for food preparation.
According to the UN "one forth part of the Brazilian territory is threatened by the process of accelerated desertification." The introduction and use of solar cookers represents a priceless contribution to reducing desertification, soil erosion, and assuring the survival of the people, animals, and natural resources.
- Cozimento Solar Brasil (Facebook group)
Articles in the media
- NEW: June 2014: Gestor ambiental aposta em forno solar como alternativa energética - Glogo.com (English version)
- August 2012: Argentino desenvolve fogão solar e invenções ambientais, no ES - G1 ES (English version)
- August 2009: Índios de MS experimentam fogão solar - Povos Indígenas no Brasil (English version)
Audio and video
- September 2015:
- May 2012:
- January 2011: A small village coverts to parabolic solar cookers.
- December 2010: Forno Solar
- June 2010: Fogão Solar on TV news
- December 2008: Forno solar para zona rural
- July 2008: Forno solar
- June 2008: Brazilian TV covers "A Solar Cooker Made at Home".
- Feb. 2008: Aprenda A Fazer Um Fogão Solar Por R$ 30