Solar cooking receives a new platform to speak from - The second edition of Sun Focus, a quarterly magazine on concentrated solar heat has just been released. The new publication from India was founded by Dr Farooq Addullah. Dr Abdullah said that the magazine will focus on off-grid applications of concentrated solar technologies (CSTs) for the purpose of saving fuel oil, firewood, and LPG in industrial and commercial establishments using heat between 80 °C and 250 °C. Solar cooking plays a major role in the content. This latest edition's cover article is devoted to the latest developments of the Scheffler Community Kitchen, written by noted solar cooking designer and advocate for solar cooking taught in public schools, Ajay Chandak. Read his article on page 11. Scheffler Solar Concentrators in India - Sun Focus
Only solar cooking makes something like this possible - In 2009 several hundred women from Darfur refugee camps gathered together, each carrying a pot of raw food and a folded 12" x 12" cardboard and aluminum foil CooKit. They were preparing a farewell dinner for an international team that had been evaluating their solar cooker project. The women opened their CooKits and left their pots of food to cook unattended for 90 minutes while they sat in the shade. The result was a banquet for hundreds of people. If each of these woman had been required to haul a fuel-efficient stove and a bundle of wood to this location along with her pot of food, she would have had to stay out in the sun, along with the other women, to tend her fire through the cooking process. Imagine hundreds of fires burning in the desert sun to cook what the ladies in this photo cooked with no fuel and no fire at all.
URGENT Appeal: Partnering for Haiyan storm relief needed - Are there any groups or individuals working in this region that are able to provide solar water pasteurization and cooking technology, and other resources to those affected by Haiyan? Please contact Solar Cookers International Worldwide Office immediately.
Study of water treatment in Kenya demonstrates the effectiveness of the WAPI - Dr. Robert Metcalf, research microbiologist, and Dinah Chienjo of FOTO worked together on a study to compare the results of various water treatment chemicals to the WAPI water pasteurization indicator used with a CooKit solar cooker. One finding of note is that "when treated with WaterGuard (3 drops/liter), subsequent Colilert and Petrifilm tests most often were negative for E. coli, except with highly turbid water sources....When water was heated in a CooKit solar cooker to melt the WAPI wax, all subsequent Colilert and Petrifilm tests were negative for E. coli." Read the study at: The Goal is Zero: A Strategy to Eliminate Water-bourne Disease in Lower Nyakach, Kenya
SunFire Solutions partners with Beyond Carbon to promote local solar cooking businesses. - SunFire Solutions and Beyond Carbon recognize that long-term solutions need to include local business communities with shared sustainability objectives. Their current SunFire Stoves Project joint venture is based in South Africa. The project's goal is to protect the area around Kruger National Park from deforestation through the implementation of solar cookers. Three hundred parabolic solar cookers were initially purchased for the project, and 213 have already gone into households as of fall 2013. With access to the solar cookers, more than ten new locally owned enterprises have been created.
Mexican Rotary Club trains 44 new solar cooking trainers - In conjunction with the Municipal government of Tapachula in Chiapas, Mexico, the Rotary Club of Tapachula Centenario has sponsored a number of solar cooking workshops in 2012 and 2013. Forty-four new instructors were trained in how to present solar cooking workshops back in their home communities. Restaurant staff was introduced to solar cooking in Santo Domingo, and at the Universidad Valle del Grijalva, City and Tapachula, culinary students were also introduced to solar cooking. On-site Experimental INIFAP "Rosario Izapa" trained twenty-seven people as users of alternative cooking systems. More photos here: http://tinyurl.com/kqr3fx9
Humanitarian Innovation: What's Cooking With Solar Cookers - Patricia McArdle, editor of the Solar Cooker Review and solar thermal cooking activist, relates the most recent reactions to solar cooking she has encountered while encouraging larger humanitarian groups to support this simple nonpolluting technology. "While 10s of millions of dollars have been invested over the past decade by international organizations, governments and corporate sponsors to develop cleaner burning biomass cook stoves, no funds have been allocated to help make the current generation of solar thermal cookers more durable, more efficient and less expensive." Read more...
The September 2013 issue of Solar Cooker Review is now available online.
Uganda NGO with proven profitability plans for expansion at new location - Henk Crietee, from Solar Cooking Netherlands, was in Uganda for two weeks in early August to evaluate Solar Connect Association (SCA) project activities. During Crietee's visit, a piece of land was secured in Mbarara, on which SCA will construct a building to house a new Renewable Energy Center. Integrated solar cooking appliances will be produced, advertised and sold from this new location, which will offer better exposure for their products to local residents, tourists, and political leaders. While SCA has shown itself to be relatively self sufficient in terms of covering operation costs, through the sales of solar cookers, hay baskets and rocket stoves, they cannot yet afford to construct a new building. Participation by Solar Cooking Netherlands with help in securing the land has been appreciated. Donors wishing to help contribute to the building construction can contact Solar Cooking Netherlands. This fledgling effort is another example that demonstrates solar cooking, and related integrated cooking methods, can become a successful business by incorporating local manufacturing, sales, and long term consumer support.
One Earth Designs raises $142k on Kickstarter to fund solar cooking project - One Earth Designs successfully concluded its Kickstarter campaign to promote the SolSource solar cooker, raising a total of $142,413 out of a goal of $43,000 (331% of the goal) and meeting three stretch goals, with 507 people backing the project. Delivery of the cookers will happen in October 2013. Visit the SolSource Kickstarter page.
Young entrepreneurs align with Kickstarter to promote their parabolic solar cooker - One Earth Designs began in 2008 to develop their SolSource parabolic cooker. In September 2010, the cooker won the Dutch Postcode Lottery Green Challenge. The design team continues their research on the cooker, with the goal it will be the world's first temperature-adjustable solar cooker with six discrete settings up to 1,000°C (1,832°F). It will provide users with the capacity to generate electricity, heat their homes, purify their water and cook with stored solar energy at night or on cloudy days. An article in gizmag explains that those wishing to help this fledgling company are offered the opportunity to purchase today's basic cooker for $249 USD, with free shipping in the continental USA. The projected retail price will be $399 USD, so this is a great way to help them out, and get a great deal. Delivery of the cookers will happen in October 2013. More information..., Kickstarter page
World Refugee Day focusses on the needs of displaced populations - World Refugee Day was established by the United Nations to honor the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence. Even though the day has passed, June 20th, awareness and action are continuing. Universal Giving has organized a group of relief projects to help raise donations. 100% of the donation reaches the intended foundation and project. This year Solar Household Energy (SHE) is featured among the projects for their work promoting solar cooking worldwide. SHE is a global leader in this effort. Consider helping them. Donation information...
Solar Cookers International to dedicate more resources to the renamed Solar Cookers International Network Since its founding in 2006, the Solar Cookers World Network has continued to expand. Network members now include over 500 NGOs, individuals, and manufacturers working in the field to advance the cause of solar cooking. At the same time, the Network’s wiki resource has grown to become an unparalleled resource for solar cooking knowledge worldwide. With contributions of articles and photos from Network members and monetary and administrative support from Solar Cookers International (SCI), this wiki now contains nearly 2000 articles, covering all aspects of solar cooking design and promotion. Today SCI renews its commitment to the Solar Cookers World Network and its corresponding Wiki. SCI will direct more resources toward both. In the near future, SCI will ask all Network members to give us their feedback to help us prioritize our efforts to assist in areas of greatest need. Read the “Letter from the Executive Director” in the June 2013 issue of Solar Cooker Review for more information about SCI’s Strategic Plan for 2013-2018. To communicate SCI’s renewed and expanded commitment to the Network, starting today, June 1, 2013 the name of the Network and Wiki will change, but not their substance. The Solar Cookers World Network will become the Solar Cookers International Network (SCInet); the Solar Cookers World Network Wiki will become the Solar Cookers International Network Wiki. SCI welcomes your input. Please contact SCI at email@example.com if you have questions or comments.
An inspired environmentalist shares her tips and techniques for solar cooking - Faustine Odaba lives in Kenya, and has been promoting solar cooking since the early nineties. Her reputation with solar cooking efforts is well known and she is lovingly referred to as "Mama Solar". In the accompanying video she offers practical solar cooking tips and techniques, and describes the features of different types of cookers. She also explains the advantage of using heat-retention cooking to complement solar cooking. It is inspiring to see how she careful crafts every scrap of recycled material into useful household products. She gently reminds everyone "The sun can bring a meal to your table."
Solar cookers preparing food for 130,000 people daily at the refugee camps in Chad - Derk Rijks, a volunteer with the KoZon Foundation, recently responded to Jewish World Watch with this note of appreciation. "Last week I was at the Touloum Refugee Camp. The chief of the workshop, Fatimé, told me there were new arrivals. We walked over to the last of the dunes and there was one woman who had just walked in with four kids, sitting in the sand. Her village was bombed one week ago, and she had fled to escape the Janjaweed, walking for seven nights. Fatimé looked at me, I nodded, 'yes', and in the next few hours she had her cooker and started her solar cooker training, even before she had a shelter. No words needed, no paper needed. That is the way your contribution works." He also explains that in the six camps where they work in Chad, and in the villages of the population around the camps about 29,000 families now do solar cooking, and about 130,000 people are eating solar cooked meals. In this part of the world solar cooking works about 300 days a year. From the empty bags of the food shipped in by the World Food Programme, and the snippets of aluminum foil and cardboard left over from the manufacture of the cookers, the refugees make "thermos baskets" to keep the food, cooked between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., warm until the evening meal at 5 p.m. or 8 p.m. They do not have to search for wood so much any more and there are far fewer conflicts for that reason. As one of the elected representatives of the women refugees said: "Solar cooking brings us justice and peace".
Interesting facts about the Sun Oven - The Sun Oven is manufactured by Sun Ovens International primarily in Elburn, Illinois, USA. Recently Paul Munsen, the company president, was questioned about where their ovens were being sold. They have been sold in over 130 countries. The Sun Oven is usually considered to be the standard which other solar box cookers are judged by. They are well made of quality components, and quite durable. The company has a revised version of the Sun Oven called the All American Sun Oven that has a 20% larger cooking area and new wind resistance features. Interestingly, 42% of the Sun Ovens sold worldwide are sold in the state of Utah, USA. Munsen believes 70% of the ovens are being kept on shelves with emergency food supplies, the rest are used on a regular basis. The owners appreciate the versatility of the cooker, with the added benefit of helping to lower household kitchen temperatures during hot summer months. When Munsen was recently demonstrating in the Sun Oven in Afghanistan to a group of local women, he was told the cooker could not provide the smoky favor desired in their flatbread, known as naan. Paul's wife suggested adding a few drops of liquid smoke to the batter. A recent delivery of ovens was accompanied by a 55-gallon drum of liquid smoke. The liquid smoke offers some advantages over smoky fires. Munsen says women cooking over fires can inhale as much smoke as they’d get from smoking three packs of cigarettes a day, and children are more likely to contract acute lower respiratory and eye infections. Read more...
Solar panel cookers headed to Afghanistan use recycled coffee bags for reflective material - The solar cookers are distributed by Trust in Education located in Kabul, Afghanistan. They are a CooKit variation, and are being produced at a box manufacturing company in San Leandro, California, USA. The reflective material used for the solar panel cookers comes from Mylar coffee bean bags, recycled from Peet’s Coffee & Tea headquartered in Berkeley, California. They are cut open and cleaned by adults with developmental disabilities from Futures Explored in Lafayette, California. With the reflective interior surface facing out, the bags are then stapled to the cooker panels by Afghan workers. So far, 2,000 cookers have been delivered to Afghanistan, and over 20,000 bags have been collected from Peet’s (keeping many Mylar bags out of the landfill). The new cookers are working very well, and are appreciated.