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Haines Solar Cooker

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Last updated: August 28, 2014      
Haines Solar Cooker

The Haines Solar Cooker, (version II)

Haines Foam Insualtion Cooker folded open, 2-10-14

The cooker is shown cut and folded before final assembly.

The original Haines Solar Cooker was designed in 2013 by Roger Haines of San Diego, California USA. This first Haines cooker was made in the USA from aluminum-coated reflective bubble insulation material that is sold "off-the shelf" at Lowe's Home Centers in 4-foot by 25-foot rolls.  The cooker was made from a single 48" by 48" rectangle of bubble material, and required only three cuts with ordinary scissors for cooker assembly.

Haines Cooker (Side)

Early version of the Haines Solar Cooker designed in 2013.

Haines II New Template 001

Template for version II

Further development led to the version II cooker made of IXPE (cross-linked polyester) foam insulation bonded with reflective metalized polyester film (MPET film / 3mm IXPE foam / white PET film). The reflective polyester will not oxidize, cannot be scratched off, and has a high melting point. Importantly, the new material is easy to recycle and is environmentally safe through the whole production and recycling process without pollution. In the U.S., this material is used to make high-end auto windshield sunshades. In bulk, the material can be purchased in China for about $3.60 USD per square meter.

The reflector is made from a 60 cm. x 120 cm. (2-foot by 4-foot) rectangle of reflective material, with three scissors cuts as shown in the template. Overlapping the cuts as shown produces the proper shape, and the material is then secured with a brass paper fasteners (brads) inserted through grommet holes. When the sun is low, moving the pot forward will "rock" the front of the reflector down, and the back up, to catch more sun.

Haines I Windscreen alone

Haines Windscreen

The windscreen is made from a 30 cm. (2-foot) diameter circle of 0.5 mm (.020-inch) UV-resistant polycarbonate film. For increased rigidity, a radius cut is overlapped two inches to form a flat cone like a sun hat. The overlap is secured by string inserted into grommet holes in the windscreen and the reflector.. The windscreen makes the cooker quite rigid in windy conditions, and creates an "oven-like" atmosphere around the cooking pot. The cooker itself can withstand strong winds if a string is inserted through the natural holes at the bottom, and held down with bricks or rocks.
2014 windscreen

Windscreen for Haines Cooker

2014 Cooking sleeve

Cooking sleeve for Haines cooker

Haines II pot&sleeve
Cooking sleeve. Instead of a cooking bag, the black cooking pot is enclosed in a "sleeve" of .020-inch (0.5 mm) UV-resistant polycarbonate film. A 16 cm. x 120 cm. (6" x 48") rectangle of polycarbonate film is rolled into a cylinder that surrounds the cooking pot, secured with ordinary paper clips. The top rim of the cooking pot rests on the top edge of the cooking sleeve, which insulates the cooking pot and elevates it off the surface of the reflector, allowing the sun to be reflected onto the bottom of the pot.

Recent news and developmentsEdit

  • July 2014: Building material supplier in Kenya imports solar cooker supplies - Roger Haines reports that Global Hardware, Ltd., a prominent Nairobi, Kenya building supply company, (, Tel: +254 20 2399998/7 Cell: +254 786 456 225 E-Mail: has to purchase a large quantity of reflective foam insulation and polycarbonate plastic film for resale at $15 per cooker in wholesale quantities solar cooking entrepreneurs. A Nairobi NGO, NAREWAMA, is making and selling Haines Solar Cookers. The hope is that the availability of these inexpensive materials will promote the creation of other solar cooking entrepreneurs in East Africa. Haines' San Diego Rotary Club will purchase materials for 500 of the new cookers in a joint project with the Rotary Club of Gulu, Uganda.

See alsoEdit


See Roger Haines.

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