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Solar wall oven designs

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Walloven outside

A version of Paul Funk's solar wall oven from the outside

Walloven inside

Solar wall oven from the inside

Wall oven Rosathorns

Solar Wall Ovens are suitible for houses in the temperate zones. (Photo: Rosa Thorns)

Solar-cooker-design-walloven-african design copy

German scientists have extensively worked on thermosiphon type of solar cookers, which can be used indoors as well, the photo shows such a design.


The Solar Wall Oven was designed by Paul Funk and was Barbara Kerr’s pet project for over two decades. Since 1985, when she first built one into the house she designed, she has wanted to make this cooker available to the world. The main impediments have been how to draw up plans for constructing the oven, and how to instruct people to correctly install it. Now, Do-It-Yourself Guidelines for design of the oven have been drawn up to appeal to designers, architects, builders, and remodelers so they can create their own variations to suit their circumstances. It does not provide detailed construction plans either for the cooker or its installation. This leaves wide latitude for selection of materials that are locally available and/or compatible with the type of home construction. This document also contains instructions on how mount the oven in the south wall of a house positioned to receive sufficient sunlight to cook properly. Over the years there has been a continuing interest in the Solar Wall Oven from people desiring a truly practical solar cooker. We hope these guidelines will at last succeed in making it possible for them to incorporate one into his or her lifestyle.

To build a solar wall oven you need a kitchen (or other convenient room) with an unshaded south facing wall. Yes, it would be less expensive to incorporate this "feature" when building a new home. Still, for those with the ability to do so, I believe there is ample reason to consider knocking a hole in your wall and adding one to an existing home. Here is why.

First let's look at the benefits of using any solar oven:

  1. It does not use up non renewable fuel resources
  2. It does not create or cause to be created any kind of pollution.
  3. The energy it uses is FREE!

Now let's look at the additional benefits you get when building the solar oven into the wall of your home:

  1. Convenience - You don't have to go outside, your solar oven can be as accessible as a conventional oven.
  2. Lower cooling costs - the heat generated for cooking is still kept outside your home, even though the food can be accessed from inside.
  3. Heating - when not used for cooking, an in-wall solar oven will help heat up the room it's in by simply leaving the oven door open.

So there you have it. Building a solar oven into a wall of your home will help you save energy, save money, lower emissions, lower cooling costs, lower heating costs . . . at no added inconvenience.

Note: The Solar Wall Oven are more suitable for homes in the temperate zones away from the equator. In equitorial zones, the sun rises in the east and the following a path to directly above the house. It then continues this path until it reaches the horizon in the west. This makes a south-facing wall oven less practical in this zone if there is any overhead eave shading. Generally, a more east-facing wall cooker will favor cooking in the morning and/or a west-facing wall cooker is suited for cooking later in the day.

Scheffler Community Kitchen variation

Scheffler village kitchen platform, 2-9-13

Scheffler village kitchen

The Scheffler Community Kitchen, designed by Wolfgang Scheffler, incorporates a large parabolic reflector installed facing the exterior kitchen wall, which focusses the concentrated light through an opening in the wall. The reflector typically has a tracking system to keep the reflector aligned with the sun. On the other side of the wall, cooks can bake and grill food at a convenient working height. The cook space can be installed in a traditional home, or behind a free-standing wall on a raised platform, allowing the cooks to work in a shaded space. A community kitchen like this can be shared by village members.

SunGenius Built-in Solar Oven
Solar wall oven inside the house
Johan van Wyk, the founder of the SunGenius Built-in Solar Oven, undertook the challenge to take solar cooking to the comfort of the inside of the house. It should be a state of the art household appliance, which will compete with other household appliances for quality, convenience and style.
Through the wall solar cooker

Due to the specific requirements and nature of the SunGenius Built-in Solar Oven, most houses were never designed to be fitted with such an appliance. Unfortunately very little can be done about that, so we focus on practical solutions and new developments. The SunGenius oven and new architechtural housing designs makes the SunGenius Built-in Solar Oven a very attractive alternative to the conventional mobile solar cookers.

Recent news and developments

Joel Goodman thru-wall section, 2-9-13

A permanent through-the-wall solar cooker design concept incorporating rain catchment provided by Joel Goodman.

See also

External links

In French Des fours qui traversent le mur
In Farsi اجاق هاي خورشيدي ديواري


Kerr-Cole Sustainable Living Center for information on Barbara Kerr's Solar Wall Oven

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