Solar Cookers World Network

Compendium Introduction

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The original author of this article is Dr. Ashok Kundapur. Find more of Dr. Kundapur's work on his website:

The history of solar cooking goes back to the dim recess of antiquity. The use of solar power to ignite altar fires has been mentioned (Meinel, Meinel 1997). References indicate the use of sun rays to melt chemicals and metals. The first solar furnace in modern times was fabricated in France by the famed naturalist George Louis Leclere Buffon (1707 – 1788). However, the first reference relating to solar cooking was that of Nicholas-de-Saussure (1740 – 1799). There are over 60 major designs of solar cookers, some of which are patented, and more than 100 variations.

The main purpose of this compilation is to present all possible major designs and their variations so as to prevent the solar cooker designer from wasting time on a design which has already been tried.

Although the description of the cooker is brief, it is felt that the accompanying diagrams will fill the void. As regards dimensions, adequate guidelines are given in the respective sections, but for a concentrating-type cooker the area should preferably be more than 1.5 m2, and in the case of box type, it should be as least 0.7 m2

Further, during the recent international solar cooking conference held at Granada, Spain many had expressed a need to have a venue to actively participate in the solar cooking movement. This site thus provides an opportunity to the solar cooker enthusiast to add his or her own design or suggest variations.

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