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[[Image:CooKit.jpg|left|thumb|375px||Solar Cookers International, the sponsor of this wiki, sells the [[CooKit]] solar panel cooker for $39USD [http://shop.solarcookers.org/?pn=CooKit&cn=Cookers&p=621&c=27 online here].]]
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[[Image:CooKit.jpg|right|thumb|375px||Solar Cookers International, the sponsor of this wiki, sells the [[CooKit]] solar panel cooker for $29.00 USD [http://shop.solarcookers.org/?pn=CooKit&cn=Cookers&p=621&c=27 online here].]]
Panel solar cookers are the first solar cookers that are truly affordable to the world’s neediest. In 1994, a volunteer group of engineers and solar cooks associated with [[Solar Cookers International]] developed and produced the '''CooKit''', based on a design by French scientist [[Roger Bernard]]. Elegant and deceptively simple looking, it is an affordable, effective and convenient solar cooker. With a few hours of sunshine, the '''CooKit''' makes tasty meals for 5-6 people at gentle temperatures, cooking food and preserving nutrients without burning or drying out. Larger families use two or more cookers.
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[[Panel-style solar cookers]] are the first solar cookers that are truly affordable to the world’s neediest. In 1994, a volunteer group of engineers and solar cooks associated with [[Solar Cookers International]] developed and produced the '''CooKit''', based on a design by French scientist [[Roger Bernard]]. Elegant and deceptively simple looking, it is an affordable, effective and convenient solar cooker. With a few hours of sunshine, the CooKit makes tasty meals for 5-6 people at gentle temperatures, cooking food and preserving nutrients without burning or drying out. Larger families use two or more cookers (See: [[Cooking for large groups]]).
   
 
The '''CooKit''' is made of cardboard and [[Reflective material|foil]] shaped to reflect maximum sunlight onto a black [[Pots|cooking pot]] that converts sunlight into thermal (heat) energy. A [[Plastic bags|heat-resistant bag]] (or similar tranparent cover) surrounds the pot, acting like a greenhouse by allowing sunlight to hit the pot and preventing heat from escaping. It weighs half a kilogram and folds to the size of a big book for easy transport.
 
The '''CooKit''' is made of cardboard and [[Reflective material|foil]] shaped to reflect maximum sunlight onto a black [[Pots|cooking pot]] that converts sunlight into thermal (heat) energy. A [[Plastic bags|heat-resistant bag]] (or similar tranparent cover) surrounds the pot, acting like a greenhouse by allowing sunlight to hit the pot and preventing heat from escaping. It weighs half a kilogram and folds to the size of a big book for easy transport.
   
[[Image:CooKit_folded.jpg|right|thumb|150px|The CooKit folds to be about the size of a large notebook when not in use.]]'''CooKits''' are now produced independently in 25 countries from a wide variety of materials at a cost of $3 - $7 US. Note that you can either build your own CooKit using the plans below or you can [http://www.solarcookers.org/catalog/solarcookerskits-c-1.html order a pre-built Cookit from Solar Cookers International]. Your purchase helps support SCI's work around the world.
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[[Image:CooKit_folded.jpg|right|thumb|150px|The CooKit folds to be about the size of a large notebook when not in use.]]'''CooKits''' are now produced independently in dozens of countries from a wide variety of materials at a cost of $3 - $7 US. Note that you can either build your own CooKit using the plans below or you can [http://shop.solarcookers.org/?pn=CooKit&cn=Cookers&p=621&c=27 order a pre-built Cookit from Solar Cookers International]. Your purchase helps support SCI's work around the world.
   
 
CooKits complement other cooking methods needed at night and on cloudy days. Coming about twenty years after the first efforts to replace open fires with improved cooking stoves, the CooKit uses no fuel at all. The CooKit is both user-friendly and environmentally friendly. Families can save scarce, expensive fuel for when they cannot solar cook and when economically capable, add other, higher cost cooking improvements such as modern biomass, smoke hoods, biogas, or liquefied petroleum gas. A single CooKit of normal dimensions (see below) is not able to cook a pot of food large enough to feed a large family. To cook larger amounts of food a [[:Category:Solar cooker plans#Box-style_cookers|box-style cooker]] may be a better choice.
 
CooKits complement other cooking methods needed at night and on cloudy days. Coming about twenty years after the first efforts to replace open fires with improved cooking stoves, the CooKit uses no fuel at all. The CooKit is both user-friendly and environmentally friendly. Families can save scarce, expensive fuel for when they cannot solar cook and when economically capable, add other, higher cost cooking improvements such as modern biomass, smoke hoods, biogas, or liquefied petroleum gas. A single CooKit of normal dimensions (see below) is not able to cook a pot of food large enough to feed a large family. To cook larger amounts of food a [[:Category:Solar cooker plans#Box-style_cookers|box-style cooker]] may be a better choice.
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[[Image:CooKit_woman.JPG|right|250px]]
 
[[Image:CooKit_woman.JPG|right|250px]]
 
'''Addressing fuelwood scarcities:'''
 
'''Addressing fuelwood scarcities:'''
*Solar cooking one meal a day, three times a week has been proven to reduce fuelwood consumption and related smoke by one third.
 
 
*The CooKit saves more than four times its value in fuelwood each year. With careful use and storage, a CooKit can be used for two years, reducing fuelwood consumption by two tonnes.
 
*The CooKit saves more than four times its value in fuelwood each year. With careful use and storage, a CooKit can be used for two years, reducing fuelwood consumption by two tonnes.
 
*Reduces pressure on forests for [[firewood]] and [[charcoal]].
 
*Reduces pressure on forests for [[firewood]] and [[charcoal]].
   
[[Image:Food_versus_charcoal.jpg|left|thumb|350px|Each group of items costs 75 Kenya Shillings (about US$1) as does the pile of charcoal shown. By using a [[CooKit]] or other solar cooker, people can buy food instead of fuel.]]
 
 
'''Improving health:'''
 
'''Improving health:'''
   
*The CooKit can [[pasteurize]] household drinking water, making it safe to drink.
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*The CooKit can pasteurize household drinking water, making it safe to drink.
*The solar cooking process is smokeless, reducing [[IAP|respiratory diseases]] and eye irritation
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*The solar cooking process is smokeless, reducing [[IAP|respiratory diseases]] and eye irritation 
 
*Solar cooked foods retain vitamins, nutrients and their natural flavors; there is no smoky taste; the foods cook slowly in their own juices. Nutritious, slow-cooking traditional foods (beans, root crops, and some grains) are restored to the family diet
 
*Solar cooked foods retain vitamins, nutrients and their natural flavors; there is no smoky taste; the foods cook slowly in their own juices. Nutritious, slow-cooking traditional foods (beans, root crops, and some grains) are restored to the family diet
 
*Clean up is easy as the food never burns or sticks to the cooking pot.
 
*Clean up is easy as the food never burns or sticks to the cooking pot.
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'''Enhancing household and women’s economic status:'''
 
'''Enhancing household and women’s economic status:'''
*The CooKit represents a new opportunity for women to capitalize on an underserved market and better meet their own cooking energy needs
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*The CooKit repesents a new opportunity for women to capitalize on an underserved market and better meet their own cooking energy needs
 
*Solar cooking saves time as there is less need to tend a fire or collect firewood. A person can cook while at work, at the market, or tending crops. Young girls can attend school instead of searching for fuelwood.
 
*Solar cooking saves time as there is less need to tend a fire or collect firewood. A person can cook while at work, at the market, or tending crops. Young girls can attend school instead of searching for fuelwood.
 
*Solar energy is free and abundant in many areas of Kenya, providing a safe, clean, healthy supplement to traditional fuels.
 
*Solar energy is free and abundant in many areas of Kenya, providing a safe, clean, healthy supplement to traditional fuels.
   
Co-developers are [[Roger Bernard]] of [[France]] and [[Barbara Kerr]] of the [[USA]], with work also by [[Ed Pejack]], [[Jay Campbell]], and [[Bev Blum]] of [[Solar Cookers International]]. Extensive field tests in the [[USA]] and in many developing countries confirm its performance, convenience, low cost, acceptance, and adaptability to diverse needs.
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Co-developers are [[Roger Bernard]] of [[France]] and [[Barbara Kerr]] of the [[USA]], with work also by me n [[Ed Pejack]], [[Jay Campbell]], and [[Bev Blum]] of [[Solar Cookers International]]. Extensive field tests in the [[USA]] and in many developing countries confirm its performance, convenience, low cost, acceptance, and adaptability to diverse needs.
 
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==NGOs using CooKits==
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==Construction plans==
 
==Construction plans==
 
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desc none
 
desc none
 
</imagemap>
 
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*[[Media:How_to_make_use_understand_English.pdf|Solar Cookers: How to Make, Use, and Enjoy]]. This is a handbook published by [[Solar Cookers International]] that includes detailed plans for building a CooKit solar panel cooker. (There are also detailed versions in [[Media:CooKit_ar.pdf|Arabic]], [[Media:CooKit_french_plans.pdf|French]], [[Media:CooKit Plans detailed Spanish.pdf|Spanish]], and [[Media:Solar_cookit_nairobi_booklet.pdf|English for Kenya]], and [[Media:CooKit - Galician.pdf|Galician]].)
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*[[Media:How_to_make_use_understand_English.pdf|Solar Cookers: How to Make, Use, and Enjoy]]. This is a handbook published by [[Solar Cookers International]] that includes detailed plans for building a CooKit solar panel cooker. (There are also detailed versions in Arabic ([[Media:CooKit_ar.pdf|Standard]], [[Media:Solar Oven Instructions Arabic.pdf|Variation]]), [[Media:CooKit_french_plans.pdf|French]], [[Media:CooKit Plans detailed Spanish.pdf|Spanish]], and [[Media:Solar_cookit_nairobi_booklet.pdf|English for Kenya]], and [[Media:CooKit - Galician.pdf|Galician]].)
   
 
*35-minute instruction video of how to build a CooKit solar cooker, how to use it, and why Girl Guides and Girl Scouts are teaching the technology in fuel-short countries around the world. It's yours for a donation of $20.00 (US) to the Girl Scout Solar Cooker Fund (postage included). [http://barby.com/solar_cooking.htm To order...]
 
*35-minute instruction video of how to build a CooKit solar cooker, how to use it, and why Girl Guides and Girl Scouts are teaching the technology in fuel-short countries around the world. It's yours for a donation of $20.00 (US) to the Girl Scout Solar Cooker Fund (postage included). [http://barby.com/solar_cooking.htm To order...]
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===Creating a template by enlarging the diagram using MS Paint===
 
===Creating a template by enlarging the diagram using MS Paint===
[[Image:CooKit_Panel_Measurements.gif|thumb|400px|This diagram shows angles and measurements for making a CooKit exactly as [[Solar Cookers International]] manufactures them. Start with a big piece of cardboard about 1m x 1.33m (3' x 4'). Cut and fold as shown. The angles and folds shown are best, but small variations are OK.]]
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Printing the plans to size avoids the need to measure any lengths or angles since you merely have to cut out the plans and trace around it on your material. This is done by a "poster print" and most computer printers and image programs allow you to create a poster print.
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Printing the plans to size [[Image:CooKit_Panel_Measurements.gif|thumb|400px|This diagram shows angles and measurements for making a CooKit exactly as [[Solar Cookers International]] manufactures them. Start with a big piece of cardboard about 1m x 1.33m (3' x 4'). Cut and fold as shown. The angles and folds shown are best, but small variations are OK.]]avoids the need to measure any lengths or angles since you merely have to cut out the plans and trace around it on your material. This is done by a "poster print" and most computer printers and image programs allow you to create a poster print.
   
 
The process is to determine how much larger the measurements on the plan are compared to what is printed. Then the plan is enlarged so that it prints the actual size - where all displayed measurements match actual lengths.
 
The process is to determine how much larger the measurements on the plan are compared to what is printed. Then the plan is enlarged so that it prints the actual size - where all displayed measurements match actual lengths.
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#Select Page Setup from the file menu and change the page layout to Landscape.
 
#Select Page Setup from the file menu and change the page layout to Landscape.
 
#Print - this should print the details out in the "normal" plan size which is reduced from the full size plan.
 
#Print - this should print the details out in the "normal" plan size which is reduced from the full size plan.
#Find distance on the printout, such as the width (122 cm) and measure with a ruler. Divide the distance on the plan by your measurement. For instance, if you measured 19.7cm the ratio would be approximately 6.19. This means the image should be magnified 6.19 times (619%) to match the values in the plans.
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#Find distance on the printout, such as the width (122 cm, or 48 in) and measure with a ruler. Divide the distance on the plan by your measurement. For instance, if you measured 19.7 cm (7 3/4 in) the ratio would be approximately 6.19. This means the image should be magnified 6.19 times (619%) to match the values in the plans.
#Select Page Setup menu item again. This time adjust the scaling to the percent calculated in the last step (619% based on the values shown in step 4). MS Paint will now automatically enlarge the plans so that they roughly match the original plans cm for cm.
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#Select Page Setup menu item again. This time adjust the scaling to the percent calculated in the last step (619% based on the values shown in step 4). MS Paint will now automatically enlarge the plans so that they roughly match the original plans cm for cm (or inch for inch).
 
#A number of pages will be printed. These pages need to be joined together. Printers normally require a margin, so make sure you overlap one page with another and fold appropriately so that printed lines are continuous.
 
#A number of pages will be printed. These pages need to be joined together. Printers normally require a margin, so make sure you overlap one page with another and fold appropriately so that printed lines are continuous.
 
#Cut out the plan/template.
 
#Cut out the plan/template.
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You can download this PDF file to print out a full-size template at a copy center. You can then trace this template onto cardboard to make a CooKit with the exact dimensions and angles as the model sold by SCI. This eliminates having to lay out the pattern manually, or printing the template out in sections, and will simplify the construction process: [http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100118193220/solarcooking/images/5/5d/CooKit_Diagram_48_x_36.pdf Full-size CooKit template for printout]
 
You can download this PDF file to print out a full-size template at a copy center. You can then trace this template onto cardboard to make a CooKit with the exact dimensions and angles as the model sold by SCI. This eliminates having to lay out the pattern manually, or printing the template out in sections, and will simplify the construction process: [http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100118193220/solarcooking/images/5/5d/CooKit_Diagram_48_x_36.pdf Full-size CooKit template for printout]
   
You can also download this PDF file to print out the full-size template on 25 pages of 8.5 x 11" paper. No resizing necessary - just open and print, then tape the pages together. Each page overlaps the next page by 10mm and has guide marks in each corner to help with alignment.
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You can also download this PDF file to print out the full-size template on 25 pages of 8.5 x 11 in (standard US Letter size) paper. No resizing necessary - just open and print, then tape the pages together. Each page overlaps the next page by 10 mm (3/4 inch) and has guide marks in each corner to help with alignment.
[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100430055234/solarcooking/images/7/7d/CooKit_Diagram_48_x_36_tiled.pdf Full-size CooKit template for printout - Tiled]. (A short video has been created showing this process at [http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100118193220/solarcooking/images/5/5d/CooKit_Diagram_48_x_36.pdf http://www.flickr.com/photos/13470115@N08/4985441555/].)
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[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100430055234/solarcooking/images/7/7d/CooKit_Diagram_48_x_36_tiled.pdf Full-size CooKit template for printout - Tiled].
   
===Hints===
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===Tips and tricks===
 
*To make clean straight folds in cardboard, first make a crease along the line with a blunt edge such as a spoon handle, then fold against a firm straight edge.
 
*To make clean straight folds in cardboard, first make a crease along the line with a blunt edge such as a spoon handle, then fold against a firm straight edge.
   
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*To set up, lay panel flat with shiny side up. Fold up front and back parts and fit back corners into the slots in front.
 
*To set up, lay panel flat with shiny side up. Fold up front and back parts and fit back corners into the slots in front.
   
*Arbitrary size can be obtained when creating the template. Choose a limiting dimension and use this size in the calculations in Step 4 rather than the size shown on the plan. Therefore, if you have a 110cm wide pice of material you would divide the measured width on the plan by 110 instead of 122. This will scale the plan up or down based on your needs.
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*Arbitrary size can be obtained when creating the template. Choose a limiting dimension and use this size in the calculations in Step 4 rather than the size shown on the plan. Therefore, if you have a 110 cm (43 in) wide pice of material you would divide the measured width on the plan by 110 instead of 122 (48 in). This will scale the plan up or down based on your needs.
   
 
==Cooking Directions==
 
==Cooking Directions==
 
===The pot===
 
===The pot===
 
Put your food into a dark-colored pot with a dark-colored or clear lid.
 
Put your food into a dark-colored pot with a dark-colored or clear lid.
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{{Main|Pots}}
See main article: [[Pots]]
 
   
 
===Plastic bags and other glazings===
 
===Plastic bags and other glazings===
 
{{Main|Glazing}}
 
{{Main|Glazing}}
[[Image:Ovenbagbox.jpg|left|200px|thumb|Oven cooking bags are able to withstand temperatures of up to 315°C (600°F).]]Place the pot inside a [[plastic bag]]. Close the open end of the bag and place pot and bag into the center of the cooker. When using two plastic bags, one inside the other, temperatures can increase up to 20 Celcius over what is reached using a single bag (source: [[Solar Cooking Netherlands|SCN]]).
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[[Image:Ovenbagbox.jpg|left|200px|thumb|[[Plastic bag|Oven cooking bags]] are able to withstand temperatures of up to 315 °C (600 °F).]]Place the pot inside a [[plastic bag]]. Close the open end of the bag and place pot and bag into the center of the cooker. When using two plastic bags, one inside the other, temperatures can increase up to 20 °Celsius (68 °F) over what is reached using a single bag (source: [[Solar Cooking Netherlands|SCN]]).
   
 
See tips below for using normal (non heat-resistant) plastic bags. Note that when solar cooking conditions are very good, you may be able to cook without the use of a plastic bag around the pot.
 
See tips below for using normal (non heat-resistant) plastic bags. Note that when solar cooking conditions are very good, you may be able to cook without the use of a plastic bag around the pot.
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===Orienting the CooKit===
 
===Orienting the CooKit===
''(Note: Directions below are valide for the Northern Hemisphere)''
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''(Note: Directions below are valid for the Northern Hemisphere)''
 
* TO COOK A NOONTIME MEAL orient cooker so that it faces to the southeast, approximately where the sun will be mid-morning. In general, it is good to get the food out early: for most dishes it is best to start cooking by 9:00 or 10:00 a.m.
 
* TO COOK A NOONTIME MEAL orient cooker so that it faces to the southeast, approximately where the sun will be mid-morning. In general, it is good to get the food out early: for most dishes it is best to start cooking by 9:00 or 10:00 a.m.
   
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===Cooking on windy days===
 
===Cooking on windy days===
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{{Main|Wind protection}}
   
 
<table><tr><td>
 
<table><tr><td>
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[[Image:Weighting_down_CooKit.jpg| none | 220px | thumb |On windy days, large stones or bricks can be placed on the edges of the CooKit, as well as under the front panel.]]
 
[[Image:Weighting_down_CooKit.jpg| none | 220px | thumb |On windy days, large stones or bricks can be placed on the edges of the CooKit, as well as under the front panel.]]
 
</td></tr></table>
 
</td></tr></table>
{{Main|Wind protection}}
 
   
 
==Care and Storage==
 
==Care and Storage==
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|[[Image:Notebook_binding_tape.jpg|150px]]
 
|[[Image:Notebook_binding_tape.jpg|150px]]
 
|To remedy the moisture problem inherent in a product made of cardboard, the [[Solar Cookers International East Africa Office]] and colleagues have added notebook binding tape, also readily available in large cities or capitals to seal steno notebooks for students.
 
|To remedy the moisture problem inherent in a product made of cardboard, the [[Solar Cookers International East Africa Office]] and colleagues have added notebook binding tape, also readily available in large cities or capitals to seal steno notebooks for students.
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|-
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|[[Image:LogoNikwaxWaterproofing.png|150px]]
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|[http://www.nikwax-usa.com/en-us/ Nikwax] has been used to waterproof and increase the durability of CooKits, reportedly extending the life of a CooKit by 50%. It's early use was in refugee camps in [[Chad]] as a result of a collaboration between Nikwax and [[TchadSolaire]].
 
|}
 
|}
   
   
*[[Stephen Pearson]] reports: "We build [[CooKit]]s in pieces use eleven small panels of cardboard. Shops even in rural areas have thin cardstock available as scrap. These can be laminated together using local cassava [[glue]] (cassava is grown all over Africa) to form stiff panels, thus avoiding the need to import thicker cardboard. Join the eleven panels together with 2" strips of worn out dress or shirt (using the cassava glue). Protect the perimeter of the 11 panels with more 2"strips (1" front and 1" back to stop delamination of the cardboard). Let each panel dry properly. Then turn it over and glue on the aluminum foil to the side with no cloth hinge strips."
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*[[Stephen Pearson]] reports: "We build [[CooKit]]s in pieces use eleven small panels of cardboard. Shops even in rural areas have thin cardstock available as scrap. These can be laminated together using local cassava [[glue]] (cassava is grown all over Africa) to form stiff panels, thus avoiding the need to import thicker cardboard. Join the eleven panels together with [5 cm] 2 in strips of worn out dress or shirt (using the cassava glue). Protect the perimeter of the 11 panels with more [5 cm] 2 in strips ([2.5 cm] 1 in front and 1 in back to stop delamination of the cardboard). Let each panel dry properly. Then turn it over and glue on the aluminum foil to the side with no cloth hinge strips."
   
 
===See also===
 
===See also===
*[[Media:Making_the_Cookit_more_durable_-_Stephen_Harrigan.pdf|Making the CooKit more durable]] - [[Stephen Harrigan|Stephen Harrigan]]
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*[[Media:Making_the_Cookit_more_durable_-_Stephen_Harrigan.pdf|Making the CooKit more durable]] - [[Stephen Harrigan]]
   
 
==Buying CooKits==
 
==Buying CooKits==
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===USA===
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*[http://shop.solarcookers.org/?pn=CooKit&cn=Solar+Cookers&p=621&c=27 Buy from Solar Cookers International in Sacramento, California]
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===Australia===
 
===Australia===
* CooKits are available through the [http://www.newint.com.au/shop/solar-oven-2881.htm New Internationalist shop]. A portion of the porceeds help support the efforts of [[Solar Cookers International]].
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* CooKits are available through the [http://www.newint.com.au/shop/solar-oven-2881.htm New Internationalist shop]. 
   
===Kenya===
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===Other countries===
*CooKits can also be purchased from the [[Solar Cookers International East Africa Office]] in Nairobi, Kenya.
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:See [[CooKit#NGOs_using_CooKits|NGOs using CooKits]] to possibly purchase from one of these groups.
   
 
==Variations==
 
==Variations==
===Kundapur variation===
 
 
[[Ashok Kundapur]] has designed this version of the CooKit that is easier to mark and cut out of a single sheet of cardboard.
 
[[Image:Solar-cooker-design-Cookit_easy_plan.jpg|600px|Easy plans for making a CooKit]]
 
 
 
===Manos Unidas variation===
 
===Manos Unidas variation===
[[File:Manos_Unidas_Cocinalo_II.png|thumb]]
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[[File:Manos_Unidas_Cocinalo_II.png|right|400px]]
 
[[Solar Cookers International]]'s standard CooKit calls for a lot of curves, which can be hard to make with a hand held blade. [[Juan Urrutia Sanz]] of the [[Manos Unidas]] organization in [[Spain]] writes that his group promotes a variation on the CooKit shape that is easier for many people to make at home. The Manos Unidas version, called Cocinsol II. Señor Urrutia y Sanz reports that it cooks as well as the CooKit and actually has more reflective surface area. SCI's [[Jay Campbell]] agrees. Jay is an engineer who has chaired the SCI Research Committee and who worked on engineering the CooKit for manufacture in [[Kenya]]. (One key advantage of the CooKit's curved shape is that it is easier to figure out a way to fold it into an album-sized package for easy storage and transport.) To make your own Cocinsol II, use the shape and dimensions shown in the graphic. Cardboard is an inexpensive material to use which holds its shape and is also easy to fold. However, woven mats or baskets, molded plastics or wood can be used. The solid lines in the design show where to cut; the dotted lines show where to fold. Cover the surfaces of one side with shiny material such as aluminum foil or shiny gift wrap (which will reflect light to the pot at the center of the cooker).
 
[[Solar Cookers International]]'s standard CooKit calls for a lot of curves, which can be hard to make with a hand held blade. [[Juan Urrutia Sanz]] of the [[Manos Unidas]] organization in [[Spain]] writes that his group promotes a variation on the CooKit shape that is easier for many people to make at home. The Manos Unidas version, called Cocinsol II. Señor Urrutia y Sanz reports that it cooks as well as the CooKit and actually has more reflective surface area. SCI's [[Jay Campbell]] agrees. Jay is an engineer who has chaired the SCI Research Committee and who worked on engineering the CooKit for manufacture in [[Kenya]]. (One key advantage of the CooKit's curved shape is that it is easier to figure out a way to fold it into an album-sized package for easy storage and transport.) To make your own Cocinsol II, use the shape and dimensions shown in the graphic. Cardboard is an inexpensive material to use which holds its shape and is also easy to fold. However, woven mats or baskets, molded plastics or wood can be used. The solid lines in the design show where to cut; the dotted lines show where to fold. Cover the surfaces of one side with shiny material such as aluminum foil or shiny gift wrap (which will reflect light to the pot at the center of the cooker).
   
 
[[File:CooKit_High_Back_variation.jpg|thumb|High Back variation]]
 
[[File:CooKit_High_Back_variation.jpg|thumb|High Back variation]]
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===High-Back variation===
 
===High-Back variation===
   
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[[Image:CooKit-arbitrary-units-v085-compare.png|right|thumb|200px|Diagram shows how this design compares to the standard Solar Cookers International design.]]
 
[[Image:CooKit-arbitrary-units-v085-compare.png|right|thumb|200px|Diagram shows how this design compares to the standard Solar Cookers International design.]]
The basic unit is the orange block, and a unit size of 1.5 inches gives a sheet size of 48" x 36". Clearly, a unit size of 1" makes a sheet size of 32" x 24". Working in metric, a unit size of 4 cm yields a sheet size of 128 cm x 96 cm, which is about five per cent larger than the 48" x 36" sheet.
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The basic unit is the orange block, and a unit size of 1.5 inches gives a sheet size of 48 in x 36 in. Clearly, a unit size of 1" makes a sheet size of 32 in x 24 in. Working in metric, a unit size of 4 cm yields a sheet size of 128 cm x 96 cm, which is about five per cent larger than the 48 in x 36 in sheet.
   
 
I have also made this plan available as a [[Media:CooKit-arbitrary-units-v085.pdf|PDF file]].
 
I have also made this plan available as a [[Media:CooKit-arbitrary-units-v085.pdf|PDF file]].
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===Eagle variation===
 
===Eagle variation===
 
[[File:Eagle_pieces.jpg|thumb|150px|Pieces for the [[Eagle Solar Cooker|Eagle variation of Cookit]].]]
 
[[File:Eagle_pieces.jpg|thumb|150px|Pieces for the [[Eagle Solar Cooker|Eagle variation of Cookit]].]]
The [[Eagle Solar Cooker]] was designed in 2007 by [[Manda]] specifically for Americans. It is made of eleven pieces which begin as 8 1/2" X 11" (U.S. standard letter size) paper. Intended for students and beginners, it is easy to construct; no protractor or compass is used. An optional twelfth piece, of a whimsical eagle head, can be added at the top.
+
The [[Eagle Solar Cooker]] was designed in 2007 by [[Manda]] specifically for Americans. It is made of eleven pieces which begin as 21.5 cm x 28 cm (8 1/2 in X 11 in, U.S. standard letter size) paper. Intended for students and beginners, it is easy to construct; no protractor or compass is used. An optional twelfth piece, of a whimsical eagle head, can be added at the top.
   
 
===Aluminum panel variation===
 
===Aluminum panel variation===
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[[Media:The_Modified_CooKit_11Nov2011.pdf|Teong Tan variation layout diagrams]]
 
[[Media:The_Modified_CooKit_11Nov2011.pdf|Teong Tan variation layout diagrams]]
 
{{clr}}
 
{{clr}}
An enthusiast has submitted photos of the Teong Tan variation positioned to capture low sun angles, and in the standard overhead orientation. He was able to do some winter cooking in Ottawa, {{state|Ontario|ON}}, [[Canada]] (latitude 45°) and had the cooker reach 180°C(285°F) in the vertical position, using a pot inside clear pyrex container.
+
An enthusiast has submitted photos of the Teong Tan variation positioned to capture low sun angles, and in the standard overhead orientation. He was able to do some winter cooking in Ottawa, {{state|Ontario|ON}}, [[Canada]] (latitude 45°) and had the cooker reach 180 °C (285 °F) in the vertical position, using a pot inside clear pyrex container.
 
<gallery columns="3" widths="250" captionalign="left">
 
<gallery columns="3" widths="250" captionalign="left">
 
Tan variation, vertical, winter cooking, 2-21-12.jpg|Teong Tan variation cooking mid-winter in [[Canada]] at latitude 45 degrees.
 
Tan variation, vertical, winter cooking, 2-21-12.jpg|Teong Tan variation cooking mid-winter in [[Canada]] at latitude 45 degrees.
Line 277: Line 285:
 
===Two-pot CooKit variation===
 
===Two-pot CooKit variation===
 
[[File:Two_pot_cookit.jpg|thumb|250px|The Two-pot [[CooKit]] variation]]
 
[[File:Two_pot_cookit.jpg|thumb|250px|The Two-pot [[CooKit]] variation]]
This simple idea was suggested by a soilder serving in Afganistan, [[Colin Hoskins]]. Using only 10% more material, the cooker doubles the cooking area.{{clr}}
+
This simple idea was suggested by a soldier serving in Afganistan, [[Colin Hoskins]]. Using only 10% more material, the cooker doubles the cooking area.{{clr}}
   
===[[Gasy Nahandro]] variation===
+
===Gasy Nahandro variation===
  +
{{Main|Gasy Nahandro}}
 
[[File:Gasy_Nahandro_back,_4-20-13_.jpg|250px|thumb|The [[Gasy Nahandro]] grass woven CooKit]]
 
[[File:Gasy_Nahandro_back,_4-20-13_.jpg|250px|thumb|The [[Gasy Nahandro]] grass woven CooKit]]
This CooKit variation makes use of local materials to create a very affordable cooker. It was designed by [[Dominique Dutoit]] for use in [[Madagascar]]. The panels are constructed from woven grass mats, and then covered in reflective material. The target is to be make to make the cooker for less than $2USD, and be able to offer them through local retail stores.
+
This CooKit variation makes use of local materials to create a very affordable cooker. It was designed by [[Dominique Dutoit]] for use in [[Madagascar]]. The panels are constructed from woven grass mats, and then covered in reflective material. The target is to be make to make the cooker for less than $2.00 USD, and be able to offer them through local retail stores.
 
{{clr}}
 
{{clr}}
  +
  +
===Quickie Demonstration CooKit===
  +
[[File:Quickie_CooKit_illustration,_4-29-13.jpg|thumb|250px|The Quickie Demonstration CooKit assembly]]
  +
You can make this “quickie” version of the CooKit on-the-spot for teaching
  +
purposes. It only cooks small quantities of food, but it can be used to demonstrate
  +
solar cooking concepts by warming foods, melting cheese and chocolate, heating
  +
water, etc. It is not intended as a substitute for a standard solar cooker.
  +
  +
It involves cutting a typical cardboard box (about 0.6 x 0.6 x 0.3 meters, or 2 x 2 x 1
  +
feet) in half diagonally. Then add a cardboard flap in front and cover the inside
  +
with tinfoil.
  +
   
 
===One Sheet variation===
 
===One Sheet variation===
 
{{Main|One Sheet Solar Cooker}}
 
{{Main|One Sheet Solar Cooker}}
  +
  +
<br clear=all/>[[File:Xuni.jpg|thumb|250px|The Xuni CooKit variant]]
  +
  +
===Xuni Variation===
  +
This is another multi-pot variation of the CooKit, designed and tested by the Proyecto Olla Solar in cooperation with the Mexico Fund for the Conservation of Nature.  Initially tested using a mylar reflective material, the Xuni reached a temperature of 85 °C (185 °F) in three hours.
  +
{{clr}}
  +
  +
===Cook-n-go===
  +
[[File:Cook-n-go_panel_cooker,_5-14-14.jpg|thumb|250px|Cook-n-go solar panel cooker]]
  +
The Cook-n-go variation has been designed and is manufactured by the [[Aftarkeia Network]] located in [[Greece]]. The panels are made of wood and are hinged together. When folded the package is quite compact.
  +
  +
  +
  +
  +
  +
===A Simple CooKit===
  +
*[[Media:Cookit.pdf|Instructions for a Simple CooKit]]
  +
:[[File:Simple_Solar_CooKit.jpg|thumb|600px|none|[[Media:Cookit.pdf|Simple Solar CooKit]] layout]]
   
 
==Mass-producing CooKits==
 
==Mass-producing CooKits==
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==Audio and video==
 
==Audio and video==
*[http://intern.lokaalmondiaal.net/video/cookit/solarcookingenglish.mpg How to use the CooKit] An instructional video on the use and care of a [[CooKit]] solar oven, for cooking and water pasteurization.
+
[[File:Tusk Trust Documentary - 13 Solar Energy|thumb|Tusk Trust documentary of introducing the [[CooKit]] in [[Kenya]] in 2008.|none|425 px]]
[[Video:Solar Cooking with the CooKit|450px]]
+
[[Video:Solar Cooking with the CooKit|none|425px]]
   
 
{|
 
{|
|<youtube>nE0hFBsB-40</youtube>
+
|[[File:Cooking in Sakali Refugee Camp in Darfur|none|425px]]
 
|'''April 2008:''' The solar cooker students from last year are training their neighbors in the [[Sakali Refugee Camp]] near Nyala South Darfur, Sudan
 
|'''April 2008:''' The solar cooker students from last year are training their neighbors in the [[Sakali Refugee Camp]] near Nyala South Darfur, Sudan
 
|}
 
|}
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|}
 
|}
 
{|
 
{|
|<youtube>I1U2ILREJqk</youtube>
+
|[[File:CARE Germany Solar Furnace in Chad Solaröfen für Tschad|425px]]
 
|'''September 2007:''' The CooKit being used in Chad refugee camp
 
|'''September 2007:''' The CooKit being used in Chad refugee camp
 
|}
 
|}
 
{|
 
{|
|<youtube>NeaZGy78jmY</youtube>
+
|[[File:Kyoto Protocol - Al Gore, but what can YOU do for the world?|425px]]
 
|Video showing how to make the [[Solar Cookers International]] version of the CooKit
 
|Video showing how to make the [[Solar Cookers International]] version of the CooKit
 
|}
 
|}
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==External links==
 
==External links==
+
*[http://www.nikwax-usa.com/en-us/ Nikwax homepage]
*[http://www.terra.org/cocinas/fichaen.php?id=26 The Terra Foundation's data sheet on this cooker]
 
 
*[http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeeka5a/earthboundtek/id20.html CooKit Simulation and New Simulation Tools] - ''[[Earthbound Technology]]''
 
*[http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeeka5a/earthboundtek/id20.html CooKit Simulation and New Simulation Tools] - ''[[Earthbound Technology]]''
*[http://www.solarcookers.org/catalog/solarcookerskits-c-1.html Order a pre-built Cookit from Solar Cookers International].
+
*[http://shop.solarcookers.org/?pn=CooKit&cn=Solar+Cookers&p=621&c=27 Buy from Solar Cookers International in Sacramento, California]
 
*[http://solarcooking.org/plans.htm Plans for the CooKit in many other languages]
 
*[http://solarcooking.org/plans.htm Plans for the CooKit in many other languages]
 
*'''April 2008:''' [http://www.wildebeat.net/index.cgi/2008/04/10#E133 Interview with Linda Frederick Yaffe discussing what it's like to cook with a CooKit] - ''Wildebeat''
 
*'''April 2008:''' [http://www.wildebeat.net/index.cgi/2008/04/10#E133 Interview with Linda Frederick Yaffe discussing what it's like to cook with a CooKit] - ''Wildebeat''
* '''April 2008:''' [http://www.solarcooking.be Natuurpunt Zuid-West-Vlaanderen starts a solar cookit project in Senegal (Dutch)]
+
*[http://solarcooking.org/bernardart1.htm The Big Adventure of a Little Solar Cooker] - ''[[Roger Bernard]]'' (In French [http://solarcooking.org/francais/bernardart1-fr.htm La Grande Aventure d'un Petit Cuiseur])
*[http://earthforenergy.co.uk/200909/cookit-one-of-the-most-popular-solar-ovens/ The CooKit, one of the most popular solar cookers]
+
*[http://solarcooking.org/research/Greenhouse%20Enclosure%20Comparison_February_2008.pdf Greenhouse Enclosures Comparison Tests] - ''[[Teong Tan]]''
*[http://solarcooking.org/bernardart1.htm The Big Adventure of a Little Solar Cooker] - ''[[Roger Bernard]]''
 
::In French [http://solarcooking.org/francais/bernardart1-fr.htm La Grande Aventure d'un Petit Cuiseur]
 
*[http://solarcooking.org/research/Greenhouse%20Enclosure%20Comparison_February_2008.pdf Greenhouse Enclosures Comparison Tests] - ''Teong H. Tan''
 
   
 
==Photo Gallery==
 
==Photo Gallery==

Latest revision as of 18:03, July 23, 2014

Last updated: December 20, 2013      
CooKit

Solar Cookers International, the sponsor of this wiki, sells the CooKit solar panel cooker for $29.00 USD online here.

Panel-style solar cookers are the first solar cookers that are truly affordable to the world’s neediest. In 1994, a volunteer group of engineers and solar cooks associated with Solar Cookers International developed and produced the CooKit, based on a design by French scientist Roger Bernard. Elegant and deceptively simple looking, it is an affordable, effective and convenient solar cooker. With a few hours of sunshine, the CooKit makes tasty meals for 5-6 people at gentle temperatures, cooking food and preserving nutrients without burning or drying out. Larger families use two or more cookers (See: Cooking for large groups).

The CooKit is made of cardboard and foil shaped to reflect maximum sunlight onto a black cooking pot that converts sunlight into thermal (heat) energy. A heat-resistant bag (or similar tranparent cover) surrounds the pot, acting like a greenhouse by allowing sunlight to hit the pot and preventing heat from escaping. It weighs half a kilogram and folds to the size of a big book for easy transport.

CooKit folded

The CooKit folds to be about the size of a large notebook when not in use.

CooKits are now produced independently in dozens of countries from a wide variety of materials at a cost of $3 - $7 US. Note that you can either build your own CooKit using the plans below or you can order a pre-built Cookit from Solar Cookers International. Your purchase helps support SCI's work around the world.

CooKits complement other cooking methods needed at night and on cloudy days. Coming about twenty years after the first efforts to replace open fires with improved cooking stoves, the CooKit uses no fuel at all. The CooKit is both user-friendly and environmentally friendly. Families can save scarce, expensive fuel for when they cannot solar cook and when economically capable, add other, higher cost cooking improvements such as modern biomass, smoke hoods, biogas, or liquefied petroleum gas. A single CooKit of normal dimensions (see below) is not able to cook a pot of food large enough to feed a large family. To cook larger amounts of food a box-style cooker may be a better choice.

CooKit BenefitsEdit

CooKit woman

Addressing fuelwood scarcities:

  • The CooKit saves more than four times its value in fuelwood each year. With careful use and storage, a CooKit can be used for two years, reducing fuelwood consumption by two tonnes.
  • Reduces pressure on forests for firewood and charcoal.

Improving health:

  • The CooKit can pasteurize household drinking water, making it safe to drink.
  • The solar cooking process is smokeless, reducing respiratory diseases and eye irritation 
  • Solar cooked foods retain vitamins, nutrients and their natural flavors; there is no smoky taste; the foods cook slowly in their own juices. Nutritious, slow-cooking traditional foods (beans, root crops, and some grains) are restored to the family diet
  • Clean up is easy as the food never burns or sticks to the cooking pot.
  • Solar cooks frequently report that the money they save on cooking fuel purchases is used to for many essentials, such as extra food, school supplies, and medical care.
  • Without having to gather wood or dung, breathe smoke, and tend a fire – all associated with traditional cooking – solar cooking is easy and safe for people with AIDS and other illnesses, the elderly, disabled and young orphans.

Enhancing household and women’s economic status:

  • The CooKit repesents a new opportunity for women to capitalize on an underserved market and better meet their own cooking energy needs
  • Solar cooking saves time as there is less need to tend a fire or collect firewood. A person can cook while at work, at the market, or tending crops. Young girls can attend school instead of searching for fuelwood.
  • Solar energy is free and abundant in many areas of Kenya, providing a safe, clean, healthy supplement to traditional fuels.

Co-developers are Roger Bernard of France and Barbara Kerr of the USA, with work also by me n Ed Pejack, Jay Campbell, and Bev Blum of Solar Cookers International. Extensive field tests in the USA and in many developing countries confirm its performance, convenience, low cost, acceptance, and adaptability to diverse needs.

NGOs using CooKitsEdit

  1. Sustainable Utilization of Renewable Energy
  2. SUPO
  3. Sunny Solutions
  4. SUN-LIFE
  5. Star-Tides
  6. Solar Cooking Project Zambia
  7. Solar Cooker Rwanda Association
  8. Solar Connect Association
  9. Solar Health and Education Project
  10. Solar Cooking Netherlands
  11. San Diego Solar Cooking Club
  12. TanzSolar
  13. TchadSolaire
  14. The Sustainability Trust
  15. TIDES
  16. Tilo Tabiro
  17. Terre de la Paix
  18. Trust in Education
  19. United Religions Initiative
  20. Wei Wei Women Group
  21. Welfare Society for Solar Development
  22. Royal Botanic Garden of Jordan
  23. Rotary Club of Fresno
  24. Rotary Club of Adana-Seyhan
  25. Rescue Mission Gambia
  1. Project Have Hope
  2. Project C.O.P.E.
  3. Partnership for Integrated Sustainable Development Association
  4. Odey Renewable Energy Technology Company
  5. Niño a Niño
  6. Faustine Odaba
  7. Nancy Ellen Crooks Foundation
  8. Mount Kenya Energy Project
  9. Lotan Center for Creative Ecology
  10. Lift Up Africa
  11. Light Gives Heat
  12. Lejofonds
  13. Lady Fatemah Trust
  14. Kyoto Twist Solar Cooking Society
  15. KoZon Foundation
  16. Jeunes Volontaires pour l’Environnement
  17. Japan Solar Energy Education Association
  18. GRADES-AFRICA
  19. Global Roots
  20. Global Resource Alliance
  21. Girl Guides of Tanzania
  22. Girl Guides Association of Zimbabwe
  23. Girl Guides Association of Malaysia
  24. Solar Cookers International
  25. Fundación Inti Uma Ecuador
  1. Friends of the Old
  2. ET-Solar Tech
  3. Eldoret Student Projects
  4. Earthapprentice
  5. Earth Passengers
  6. Development Technology Centre
  7. Côte d'Ivoire Girl Scout Federation
  8. Culinary Institute of Africa
  9. Cosmopolitan Women's Club
  10. Cord
  11. Club Rotario Torreón Centenario
  12. Care and Support Network
  13. Bio Gardening Innovations
  14. AVIF Volunteers in Kenya
  15. Mozambique Association for Urban Development
  16. Association for the Reduction of Carbon Emission
  17. Association Malienne des Femmes Handicapées
  18. Agrometeorological Applications Associates
  19. Association des Femmes Ingénieurs du Mali
  20. Adventures in Health, Education, and Agricultural Development
  21. Rotary Club of Tapachula Centenario
  22. Obia Solar CooKit Group
  23. Jewish World Watch

Construction plansEdit

Solar cookers international handbook
  • 35-minute instruction video of how to build a CooKit solar cooker, how to use it, and why Girl Guides and Girl Scouts are teaching the technology in fuel-short countries around the world. It's yours for a donation of $20.00 (US) to the Girl Scout Solar Cooker Fund (postage included). To order...

If you can't find a large flat piece of cardboard, consider building a Fun-Panel solar cooker instead or build one of the variations below.

Creating a template by enlarging the diagram using MS PaintEdit

Printing the plans to size
CooKit Panel Measurements

This diagram shows angles and measurements for making a CooKit exactly as Solar Cookers International manufactures them. Start with a big piece of cardboard about 1m x 1.33m (3' x 4'). Cut and fold as shown. The angles and folds shown are best, but small variations are OK.

avoids the need to measure any lengths or angles since you merely have to cut out the plans and trace around it on your material. This is done by a "poster print" and most computer printers and image programs allow you to create a poster print.

The process is to determine how much larger the measurements on the plan are compared to what is printed. Then the plan is enlarged so that it prints the actual size - where all displayed measurements match actual lengths.

For MS Paint, which is installed with Windows, the steps are:

  1. Copy and paste the image into the program. Right click the image to "Copy"
  2. Select Page Setup from the file menu and change the page layout to Landscape.
  3. Print - this should print the details out in the "normal" plan size which is reduced from the full size plan.
  4. Find distance on the printout, such as the width (122 cm, or 48 in) and measure with a ruler. Divide the distance on the plan by your measurement. For instance, if you measured 19.7 cm (7 3/4 in) the ratio would be approximately 6.19. This means the image should be magnified 6.19 times (619%) to match the values in the plans.
  5. Select Page Setup menu item again. This time adjust the scaling to the percent calculated in the last step (619% based on the values shown in step 4). MS Paint will now automatically enlarge the plans so that they roughly match the original plans cm for cm (or inch for inch).
  6. A number of pages will be printed. These pages need to be joined together. Printers normally require a margin, so make sure you overlap one page with another and fold appropriately so that printed lines are continuous.
  7. Cut out the plan/template.

You now have a template with no need to measure a single line nor angle. Place it on your material to mark cut lines and fold lines.

PDF file for printing out a full-size templateEdit

You can download this PDF file to print out a full-size template at a copy center. You can then trace this template onto cardboard to make a CooKit with the exact dimensions and angles as the model sold by SCI. This eliminates having to lay out the pattern manually, or printing the template out in sections, and will simplify the construction process: Full-size CooKit template for printout

You can also download this PDF file to print out the full-size template on 25 pages of 8.5 x 11 in (standard US Letter size) paper. No resizing necessary - just open and print, then tape the pages together. Each page overlaps the next page by 10 mm (3/4 inch) and has guide marks in each corner to help with alignment. Full-size CooKit template for printout - Tiled.

Tips and tricksEdit

  • To make clean straight folds in cardboard, first make a crease along the line with a blunt edge such as a spoon handle, then fold against a firm straight edge.
  • Make the slots a little too small and narrow so that they fit snugly to hold up the front panel.
  • To set up, lay panel flat with shiny side up. Fold up front and back parts and fit back corners into the slots in front.
  • Arbitrary size can be obtained when creating the template. Choose a limiting dimension and use this size in the calculations in Step 4 rather than the size shown on the plan. Therefore, if you have a 110 cm (43 in) wide pice of material you would divide the measured width on the plan by 110 instead of 122 (48 in). This will scale the plan up or down based on your needs.

Cooking DirectionsEdit

The potEdit

Put your food into a dark-colored pot with a dark-colored or clear lid.

Main article: Pots

Plastic bags and other glazingsEdit

Main article: Glazing
Ovenbagbox

Oven cooking bags are able to withstand temperatures of up to 315 °C (600 °F).

Place the pot inside a plastic bag. Close the open end of the bag and place pot and bag into the center of the cooker. When using two plastic bags, one inside the other, temperatures can increase up to 20 °Celsius (68 °F) over what is reached using a single bag (source: SCN).

See tips below for using normal (non heat-resistant) plastic bags. Note that when solar cooking conditions are very good, you may be able to cook without the use of a plastic bag around the pot.


Choosing a cooking locationEdit

Set the Cookit on a dry, level surface in direct sunshine away from potential shadows. For best results, solar cooking requires continuous, direct sunshine throughout the cooking period.

Orienting the CooKitEdit

(Note: Directions below are valid for the Northern Hemisphere)

  • TO COOK A NOONTIME MEAL orient cooker so that it faces to the southeast, approximately where the sun will be mid-morning. In general, it is good to get the food out early: for most dishes it is best to start cooking by 9:00 or 10:00 a.m.
  • TO COOK A EVENING MEAL orient cooker so that it faces to the southwest, approximately where the sun will be mid-afternoon. For most dishes it is best to start cooking by 1:00 or 2:00 p.m.
  • FOR ALL-DAY COOKING orient cooker so that it faces where the sun will be at noon or early afternoon. Food will be ready and waiting for the evening meal.

For recommendations of cooking times for specific foods, see Foods.

Adjusting the front flapEdit

CooKit front flap adj

Raise or lower the front flap so there is a small shadow, no more than half its width, under it. The flap should be angled higher when the sun is high and lower when the sun is low. You want the front flap to reflect the sun, not block it.

Cooking on windy daysEdit

Main article: Wind protection
CooKit wind protection Iridimi 2007

Tying down a CooKit solar panel cooker so that it can withstand the winds at the Iridimi Refugee Camp where over 5000 CooKits are in use

Weighting down CooKit

On windy days, large stones or bricks can be placed on the edges of the CooKit, as well as under the front panel.

Care and StorageEdit

Store the CooKit in a safe place away from moisture and animals, preferably indoors. Allow plastic bags to air-dry or gently wipe dry with a towel. The CooKit is compact and portable. When not in use, it can be simply folded lengthwise into thirds or folded flat into a 33 centimeter (13 inch) square.

CooKit folding steps

Tips and TricksEdit

Wire stand Dr. Steven Jones found that raising the pot on a wire frame improved cooking in a panel cooker. It is also possible to set the pot on a clear glass bowl.
Glass bowls as pot stands Glass bowls and pie pans can be used to raise the pot off of the bottom of the cooker (note that the pot would normally be enclosed in an oven cooking bag when using a panel cooker). In some cases, they may provide more stability used upside-down.
Wire frame to keep normal plastic bag from melting Wietske Jongbloed created a simple frame to allow the use of normal plastic bags (instead of heat-resistant oven cooking bags).
Jose Albano bag frame Jose Albano created this frame to protect normal plastic bags (photo shows frame with bag removed).
Solar guard Dr. Ashok Kundapur has suggested a way to make a housing out of flat plastic sheeting. A bottom cylinder is supported by wire frame while a transparent cover, made of the same plastic material, makes access to the food very easy. This arrangement can also be used for retained-heat cooking.
Discarded phone cards to strengthen CooKit 1
Discarded phone cards to strengthen CooKit 2
Stephen Harrigan found that discarded plastic phone cards, which are readily available in Africa, worked well to strengthen CooKits in their most vulnerable areas. See also Making the CooKit more durable.
Notebook binding tape To remedy the moisture problem inherent in a product made of cardboard, the Solar Cookers International East Africa Office and colleagues have added notebook binding tape, also readily available in large cities or capitals to seal steno notebooks for students.
LogoNikwaxWaterproofing Nikwax has been used to waterproof and increase the durability of CooKits, reportedly extending the life of a CooKit by 50%. It's early use was in refugee camps in Chad as a result of a collaboration between Nikwax and TchadSolaire.


  • Stephen Pearson reports: "We build CooKits in pieces use eleven small panels of cardboard. Shops even in rural areas have thin cardstock available as scrap. These can be laminated together using local cassava glue (cassava is grown all over Africa) to form stiff panels, thus avoiding the need to import thicker cardboard. Join the eleven panels together with [5 cm] 2 in strips of worn out dress or shirt (using the cassava glue). Protect the perimeter of the 11 panels with more [5 cm] 2 in strips ([2.5 cm] 1 in front and 1 in back to stop delamination of the cardboard). Let each panel dry properly. Then turn it over and glue on the aluminum foil to the side with no cloth hinge strips."

See alsoEdit

Buying CooKitsEdit

USAEdit

AustraliaEdit

Other countriesEdit

See NGOs using CooKits to possibly purchase from one of these groups.

VariationsEdit

Manos Unidas variationEdit

Manos Unidas Cocinalo II

Solar Cookers International's standard CooKit calls for a lot of curves, which can be hard to make with a hand held blade. Juan Urrutia Sanz of the Manos Unidas organization in Spain writes that his group promotes a variation on the CooKit shape that is easier for many people to make at home. The Manos Unidas version, called Cocinsol II. Señor Urrutia y Sanz reports that it cooks as well as the CooKit and actually has more reflective surface area. SCI's Jay Campbell agrees. Jay is an engineer who has chaired the SCI Research Committee and who worked on engineering the CooKit for manufacture in Kenya. (One key advantage of the CooKit's curved shape is that it is easier to figure out a way to fold it into an album-sized package for easy storage and transport.) To make your own Cocinsol II, use the shape and dimensions shown in the graphic. Cardboard is an inexpensive material to use which holds its shape and is also easy to fold. However, woven mats or baskets, molded plastics or wood can be used. The solid lines in the design show where to cut; the dotted lines show where to fold. Cover the surfaces of one side with shiny material such as aluminum foil or shiny gift wrap (which will reflect light to the pot at the center of the cooker).

CooKit High Back variation

High Back variation

High-Back variationEdit

As part of their testing, Florida Solar Energy Center engineers redesigned the CooKit into a new geometry. The new design simply takes the same amount and type of material that makes up today’s CooKit and reconfigures it into a different shape. They dubbed it the “High Back reflector” because it has a back reflector that is much higher (i.e., taller) than the one in the standard CooKit.

Diassana variation Edit

Diassana CooKit variation figure 1

Figure 1

Mr. Gnibouwa Diassana, of Bla, Mali has been able to find sources for all the materials in or near Bla. “Cardboard is available in big towns,” he writes. “Plywood, glass, aluminum foil, sheet metal and plastic bags are available in Bla and neighboring towns.”

Diassana CooKit variation figure 2

Figure 2

Mr. Diassana also applies creative thinking to obtain low-cost materials. He notes that tea, a very popular beverage in Mali, is shipped from China in boxes lined with aluminum foil which can be recovered and reused for making reflectors for solar cookers. “It works well,” he says.

What is lacking in Bla, however, are large pieces of cardboard. To adapt to this problem, Mr. Diassana makes solar CooKits from five pieces of cardboard (see figure 1), which he patches together using small thin pieces of cardboard or pieces of satin fabric (glued or sewn into place to hold the large CooKit parts together, see figure 2).

King variation Edit

CooKit-arbitrary-units-v085

Detailed plan for building a CooKit of any size by using an arbitrary unit of measure

Philip King writes of his variation:

I've made one CooKit and wanted to make more, but each time I've looked at the published plans I've found that they don't suit my way of thinking. I also find them difficult to scale to suit an arbitrary size of material. So, and in case there are others like me who get dizzy looking at all those angles and inches and centimetres, I've drawn my own design with the following intentions:

  • to use as few measurements as possible
  • to use an arbitrary unit
  • to find all angles automatically
  • to use straight-line cuts throughout
  • to use as few cuts as possible (I could still lose a few)
  • to derive details easily without a template
  • to eliminate guesswork or fudging
  • to reduce the need for written instructions

I also wanted it to be as close as possible to SCI's classic and well-proven CooKit design but have some distinctive features of its own.

Of course, the production-line cookers are quite quickly made using templates, so this new plan has no advantage there. It is really intended to help those who are making a one-off cooker out of whatever randomly-sized material they happen to get hold of.

2007-07-17-CooKits-pic4

A completed CooKit made with this design variation

The design which follows is really meant for heavy corrugated board and not intended to fold to a small size (that's not to say it wouldn't if thin enough, I just haven't worked out yet how to derive the folds) and although the back angles are pretty close to the classic design they are different to a couple of degrees. The front panel is deeper and the back lower than in the classic, but not by much.

The chevron cuts in the ends of the side wings are to retain some surface area while also making the tabs narrower to fit the slots. I had an earlier design with a wider base and front panel to accommodate longer slots, but I like this one better, even though it adds a couple of cuts. The chevrons also satisfy my desire for a distinctive feature. The snips off the corners of the wings are to help with very stiff material when fitting the points into the slots; they don't really have to be measured, just a bit snipped off.

CooKit-arbitrary-units-v085-compare

Diagram shows how this design compares to the standard Solar Cookers International design.

The basic unit is the orange block, and a unit size of 1.5 inches gives a sheet size of 48 in x 36 in. Clearly, a unit size of 1" makes a sheet size of 32 in x 24 in. Working in metric, a unit size of 4 cm yields a sheet size of 128 cm x 96 cm, which is about five per cent larger than the 48 in x 36 in sheet.

I have also made this plan available as a PDF file.

Having just made a full-sized example from this plan I can confirm that it is fast and accurate. However, I know how it's supposed to work, so I would welcome comments from anyone who tries to follow this plan to build a cooker.

Exernal links

Poly-Furnace variationEdit

Plastic cookits during training in Sudan

The Poly-Furnace is made of polypropylene flute board.

In February 2008, Stephen and Sheila Harrigan shipped 275 of these durable plastic CooKits to the Sakali Refugee Camp in Sudan. The Poly-Furnace is a cut down model of the Cookit made by Solar Cookers International. Because of the adverse living conditions of the refugees in Darfur, Sudan the cardboard Cookit will not last much more than 6 months to a year. The need to have a durable Cookit has prompted us to develop one made of plastic polypropylene flute board. Reflective aluminum polyester is attached to the surface before it is cut and formed. A local group of volunteers have begun to make these for introduction into Sudan 2008.

See also Making the CooKit More Durable.

Wooden variationEdit

Wooden CooKit

This CooKit is made of wood covered with aluminum foil.


Eagle variationEdit

Eagle pieces

Pieces for the Eagle variation of Cookit.

The Eagle Solar Cooker was designed in 2007 by Manda specifically for Americans. It is made of eleven pieces which begin as 21.5 cm x 28 cm (8 1/2 in X 11 in, U.S. standard letter size) paper. Intended for students and beginners, it is easy to construct; no protractor or compass is used. An optional twelfth piece, of a whimsical eagle head, can be added at the top.

Aluminum panel variationEdit

Hans and Petty Heerebout founders of Solar Cooking Project Zambia, have experimented with an aluminum panel version of the CooKit. They feel the cooker is able to reflect more light than the standard CooKit, and more weather resistant.

Solar Cooking Project Zambia aluminum CooKit

An aluminum panel CooKit.

Teong Tan variationEdit

Teong Tan Cookit variation photo 11-11.jpg

Teong Tan CooKit variation

Teong Tan CooKit assembly instructions 11-11

Teong Tan CooKit variation

Here are several ideas for the modifying CooKit. First, the size of the cooker can be reduced so that more cookers can be made from the same amount of construction material. Secondly, the panel locking feature can be relocated so that the two sides of the front reflector can be tilted to reflect more sunlight towards the desired direction. The modified CooKit is structurally more robust, and can be positioned upside down to cook when the sun angle is low. The cooking pot receives more reflected sunlight under the normal operating range of the cooker. The modified CooKit can be folded down into a small package for easy transportation and storage just like the original design. Review more of Teong's description at: Teong Tan variation layout diagrams
An enthusiast has submitted photos of the Teong Tan variation positioned to capture low sun angles, and in the standard overhead orientation. He was able to do some winter cooking in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (latitude 45°) and had the cooker reach 180 °C (285 °F) in the vertical position, using a pot inside clear pyrex container.

Round-back variationEdit

Matthew Rollins CooKit variation (assembled), 2-21-12

The Round-back variation (assembled)

Matthew Rollins has made a quick scale model of a CooKit using mirror card, shown in the adjacent photos. He deliberately left off the folds and creases that are necessary for the outdoor leisure market minimum package size scenario. He feels there are at least two distinct markets for solar powered cookers and other devices. The Developing World does not need a cooker that has been creased and folded in such manner as to cripple its capabilities. The normal fold away CooKit delivers only 184 watts equivalent of power according to scientific tests carried out by Ed Pejack. Leaving off the fold and creases on the back panel increases the CooKit power to over 400 watts, and costs nothing more. This variation doesn't fold down as small as the standard design however.

Haines Solar Cooker variationEdit

Main article: Haines Solar Cooker
Haines Cooker (Side)

Haines Solar Cooker

The Haines Solar Cooker uses design aspects of the Funnel cooker and the CooKit, and is made from mylar-coated bubble insulation material, which is unaffected by boiling water, and should be more durable than a cardboard design. It requires only two cuts for cooker assembly. Testing has shown it to maintain hotter temperatures than the CooKit.

Two-pot CooKit variationEdit

Two pot cookit

The Two-pot CooKit variation

This simple idea was suggested by a soldier serving in Afganistan, Colin Hoskins. Using only 10% more material, the cooker doubles the cooking area.

Gasy Nahandro variationEdit

Main article: Gasy Nahandro
Gasy Nahandro back, 4-20-13

The Gasy Nahandro grass woven CooKit

This CooKit variation makes use of local materials to create a very affordable cooker. It was designed by Dominique Dutoit for use in Madagascar. The panels are constructed from woven grass mats, and then covered in reflective material. The target is to be make to make the cooker for less than $2.00 USD, and be able to offer them through local retail stores.

Quickie Demonstration CooKitEdit

Quickie CooKit illustration, 4-29-13

The Quickie Demonstration CooKit assembly

You can make this “quickie” version of the CooKit on-the-spot for teaching purposes. It only cooks small quantities of food, but it can be used to demonstrate solar cooking concepts by warming foods, melting cheese and chocolate, heating water, etc. It is not intended as a substitute for a standard solar cooker.

It involves cutting a typical cardboard box (about 0.6 x 0.6 x 0.3 meters, or 2 x 2 x 1 feet) in half diagonally. Then add a cardboard flap in front and cover the inside with tinfoil.


One Sheet variationEdit


Xuni

The Xuni CooKit variant

Xuni VariationEdit

This is another multi-pot variation of the CooKit, designed and tested by the Proyecto Olla Solar in cooperation with the Mexico Fund for the Conservation of Nature.  Initially tested using a mylar reflective material, the Xuni reached a temperature of 85 °C (185 °F) in three hours.

Cook-n-goEdit

Cook-n-go panel cooker, 5-14-14

Cook-n-go solar panel cooker

The Cook-n-go variation has been designed and is manufactured by the Aftarkeia Network located in Greece. The panels are made of wood and are hinged together. When folded the package is quite compact.



A Simple CooKitEdit

Simple Solar CooKit

Simple Solar CooKit layout

Mass-producing CooKitsEdit

Audio and videoEdit

Tusk Trust Documentary - 13 Solar Energy05:50

Tusk Trust Documentary - 13 Solar Energy

Tusk Trust documentary of introducing the CooKit in Kenya in 2008.

Solar Cooking with the CooKit02:19

Solar Cooking with the CooKit

Cooking in Sakali Refugee Camp in Darfur03:36

Cooking in Sakali Refugee Camp in Darfur

April 2008: The solar cooker students from last year are training their neighbors in the Sakali Refugee Camp near Nyala South Darfur, Sudan
Local Fabrication of the Cookit in Africa, Eritrea
CARE Germany Solar Furnace in Chad Solaröfen für Tschad02:41

CARE Germany Solar Furnace in Chad Solaröfen für Tschad

September 2007: The CooKit being used in Chad refugee camp
Kyoto Protocol - Al Gore, but what can YOU do for the world?05:27

Kyoto Protocol - Al Gore, but what can YOU do for the world?

Video showing how to make the Solar Cookers International version of the CooKit


  • The link below shows the animated result of a Simulation of a cross section of a CooKit. It does not include the power from the side reflectors.
Click here to play CooKit Profile Video
  • This video shows the power contributed by the side reflectors. The display picture shows a view of each reflector. Each reflector is divided into pixels. Each pixel corresponds to an elemental area of the reflector. Black pixels define the extent of the reflector with a white line representing the boiundary between the rear and front portion of the reflector. Pixels corresponding to elemental areas from which reflected sun rays hit the pot are shaded. Rays from the white pixels hit the top of the pot. Rays from dark gray pixels hit the side of the pot. Rays from light gray pixels hit the bottom of the pot.
Click here to play side reflector video

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

Photo GalleryEdit

See this article in our foreign language wikisEdit

  • Voyez cet article dans le wiki en français: CooKit
  • Vea este artículo en el wiki en español: CooKit
  • 日本語でこの記事を参照してください: CooKit

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