New solar cookers ready for distribution in Chile - Guai Bao, traveling in Chile, sent along this photo of newly constructed solar box cookers at a manufacturing facility in Ovalle. The cookers are well thought out. They are sturdy with insulated inner walls, and an internal high-back reflector to catch late day sun. The front wall is low and slightly tipped forward to avoid blocking any sunlight. The external side reflectors appear to be able swing closed and protect the glass surface. They look ready to start cooking sitting on the small tables, which provides a convenient work height for users. The cooker construction is being supervised by Ruddy Viscarra. See more assembly photos on facebook.
India raises the bar for the world's largest solar cooking class - "As many as 3,484 children from over 80 schools participated in the largest solar cooking initiative Suryakumbh on January 4th, which has qualified as an entry to the Guinness Book of World Records. The emergence of renewable sources of energy as an answer to the imminent exhaustion of conventional energy sources pushed a Bhayander NGO, Keshav Srushti, to start with the most influential members of society, children." The class was held in Mumbai, India. Read more...
Rajasthan state govt. sponsors solar cooking systems for girls hostels - Two state run hostels for girls in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India have installed Scheffler Community Kitchen solar cooking systems to meet the cooking needs for 600 students. Each system has four dishes of 16 square meters and will help conserve 4,500 kgs of liquefied cooking gas (LPG) annually assuming about 275 normally sunny days. It is estimated the payback will be less than four years, reducing the financial burden to the state government. Read more...
A quiet community in Latin America is making sustainability a reality - "The Solar Women of Totogalpa" is a short documentary film set in rural Nicaragua that follows a group of women in their journey toward a community-based, sustainable lifestyle with solar cooking as its centerpiece. Watch this excellent twenty-two minute film, and help the producers receive the Audience Choice Award by clicking on the "Like" button at the top of this page.
Technical testing standards for solar cookers updated - The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), based in St. Joseph, Michigan, USA, has revised its solar cooker testing standard. The organization is recognized worldwide for developing voluntary standards for food, agricultural, and biological systems. Often sited in technical reviews, the updated version will replace the current standards established ten years ago. The goal is to promote uniformity and consistency in the terms and units used to describe, test, rate, and evaluate solar cookers, solar cooker components, and solar cooker operation. However, it is outside of the scope of the standards to factor in cost, durability, and user satisfaction. Review the new standards: ASAE S580.1 NOV2013 Testing and Reporting Solar Cooker Performance
Lady Fatimah Trust finances several thousand solar cookers for Iraq, Lebanon, and Africa - A.G. Karim, chairman of The Lady Fatemah Trust, based in the United Kingdom, has agreed to finance several thousand solar cookers designed by Matthew Rollins of Applied Green Technology, to be delivered to Africa, Iraq, and Lebanon. Matthew has also arranged for Andreas Fasoulides, living in Cyprus, to visit Pakistan to lay the groundwork for future solar cooking training workshops there where 100,000 solar cookers are currently on provisional order. Applied Green Technology is close to releasing their new solar cooker design developed from the basic CooKit solar panel cooker. Matthew states that the improved design will be able to be adjusted to suit sun orientation at any latitude location on the globe, and the added power boost allows for cooking to be done often without the need for a cooking bag.
The Gates Foundation recognizes solar cooking - The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will donate $100,000 to the University of California Irvine, USA, for its development of a solar stove that allows people to cook without carbon emissions. The grant to the Henry Samueli School of Engineering at UCI is one of more than 80 awards the foundation announced Wednesday, according to a news release. The awards are being given to institutions that foster forward-thinking solutions to persistent global issues. The stored-energy solar stove, which permits carbon-free cooking indoors and at night using phase-changing nitrate salts for heat storage, was designed by a group of senior mechanical engineering students at UCI. Read more...
More Indian schools to get solar cookers (The Hindu) - After experimenting with solar power in cooking the noon meal for students in a corporation school, the Coimbatore Corporation has decided to provide them to a few more schools. In August, Coimbatore installed two [institutional] solar cookers at the North Coimbatore School at Rs. 68,000. ...The civic body was keen on tapping alternative sources of energy to bring down reliance on conventional sources of energy and provide a friendly kitchen environment for workers, who had been struggling with using firewood. Read more...
Solar cooking receives a new platform to speak from - The second edition of Sun Focus, a quarterly magazine devoted to concentrated solar heat has just been released. The new publication from India was founded by Dr Farooq Addullah. He explains 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 education 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.
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...