Last updated: March 14, 2016
The Solar Oven Society is the work of a Minneapolis couple, Mike and Martha Port, supported by an army of volunteers, has made possible the creation of a relatively low cost solar oven for use both in the US and in poor nations. The Ports have been active in solar cooking for many years, having worked in Jamaica, Haiti, and Central America. Originally they worked with wooden or cardboard box cookers, but have spent the last five years in development of a slant front cooker made out of recycled soda bottles. The result is both light in weight and less expensive than those made of other materials. The ovens can be assembled in their Minnesota headquarters (which also serves as incubator for a number of small non-governmental organizations) and can also be shipped unassembled along with all equipment needed for assembly in other sites.
The Ports sell cookers on the US market, earning a profit, which is then used to subsidize shipments to poorer countries. Four hundred cookers have been sent to and assembled in Afghanistan, creating jobs for workers there, and are now in the process of being sold along with the appropriate training in solar use.
The new cooker, called the Sport, holds two pots. An optional reflector that will increase its cooking power in colder weather is in production. This oven was intended to help fill the gap between the low priced cardboard cooker sold by Solar Cookers International (the CooKit) and the considerably more expensive wood or metal box cookers, thus meeting a clear market need.
News and recent developments
- October 2011: The Solar Oven Society reports they have introduced over 1000 people to solar cooking since they began teaching in 1989, and have provided solar cookers in the thousands worldwide.
- August 2011: The Rural Renewable Energy Alliance and Solar Oven Society teamed up to teach campers from the Conservation Corps Minnesota all about the power of the sun.
- July 2010: Primary school pupils in four districts in Tanzania will benefit from the use of solar cookers distributed by an institution called Solar Oven Society (SOS) Africa. A total of 240 solar cookers will be distributed to primary schools in the four districts. The use of the cookers will reduce unscrupulous tree felling. Schools to get solar cookers
- August 2009: Minn. Solar Ovens Help Feed The World's Hungry - WCCO
- September 2007: Cooking under the sun - Solar ovens tap a very familiar heat source - The Chicago Tribune
- April 2005: The Solar Oven Society (SOS) shipped 300 Sport Solar ovens to Nicaragua. The project was funded by St. Edwards Catholic Church, Bloomington, MN. Volunteers from St. Edwards, along with group leader Sue Kellett, went to Nicaragua to oversee and help train, assemble and distribute the ovens. Andrew Knutson, staff member for the Solar Oven Society, also went to Nicaragua.
Audio and video
- Interview with Gordon and Grace Magney of Global Hope Network International about their work to distribute solar ovens in Afghanistan
- May 2008:
- July 2, 2007: The work of the Solar Oven Society covered on local TV - The Early Show
- The Solar Oven Society Hopes to Make a Difference - Minnesota Public Radio
Tel: +1 (612) 623-4700
Quantity Orders For Developing Countries:
Call or email Solar Oven Society for pricing and details regarding 1) unassembled ovens in quantities and 2) assembled ovens for introducing solar cooking technology in developing countries