Fraser Symington from Almonte, Ontario, Canada, was a pioneer in the design and manufacture of solar cookers and solar ovens.
25 years of experimentation, Mr. Symington's early vision of solar solutions for developing world economies has resulted in solar concentrating arrays like the the Vesta, the Apollo, and the Helios. Hallmarks of his designs are:
- Simple designs
- Materials available worldwide
- Require no complex mathematics or modeling
- Require no uncommon tooling or fabrication skills
- Simple enough for a child to operate
- Low capital cost; nearly nil operating cost
- Require only easily-acquired skills
- Yield annual energy values up to 100% of initial capital cost
- Major impacts as regards health. e.g. drinking water sterilization, reduction of smoke inhalation, improved nutrition (preservation of seasonal produce, etc.)
- Use reduces women's' hours of work, saves fuel costs, and expands earning opportunities
- In regions such as Africa, India and Haiti, reduce deforestation, desertification and loss of soil fibre
The simplified story runs as follows: Fraser's son, Tracy Symington, saw a boy in India driving a grain mill with an ox. He thought to himself, “This boy is harnessing the power of an ox.” He then looked at the sun, and wondered, “Why can’t this boy harness the power of the sun?”
Fraser then proceeded to develop the technologies he called Symington Solar Arrays which consist of bent mirrors on simple steel frames.
Fraser's designs and vision inspired many people, including his grandson, Lorin Symington who is now working for Solar Fire Concentration Ltd. of Tampere, Finland.