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Rural Industries Innovation Centre

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Last updated: 30 January 2009      
RIPCO Scheffler

The Rural Industries Innovation Centre (RIPCO) in Kanye, Botswana does not look like a place where a lot of technological innovation is taking place.

However, as the saying goes, apperances can be decieving and don't judge a book by its cover.

Take the Scheffler reflector cooker for example. The cooker, which utilises the abundant sunlight available in the country, is environmentally friendly and cheap to maintain.

Speaking in an interview at the ongoing Global Expo in Gaborone this week, a senior technical officer at RIPCO, Mr. Joshua Ntwa, said the pressure cooker was piloted at 14 primary and secondary schools in the country and was given thumps up by authorities.

He said they installed two of the cookers at Central Primary school in Serowe and another two at Lehututu Junior Secondary School. The solar cooker comes in all sizes and the biggest is capable of cooking a meal for over one hundred people and is suitable for big institutions.

The cooker is made up of a seven square metre parabolic frame with mirrors laid on top of the frame and secured by small pieces of wire. The mirrors reflect sunrays to a central point where it is converted into heat energy.

The heat is then directed at the cooking place where pots are placed. Inside the cooking place is a secondary reflector which directs the heat energy to the pot.

Mr. Ntwa noted that the cooker is environmentally friendly, easy to operate and cheap to maintain.

"It is a good supplement to gas and firewood," he said. The Scheffler reflector cooker is assembled and installed by RIPCO.

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