Solar cooking was the main theme of our April 1991 issue (Boiling Point 24) and has been reported in many other issues. Included in this issue are descriptions of different types of solar cookers, and articles which both support and question their use. This theme has been chosen again in the hope that we shall learn of some new developments and stimulate more realistic research based on user needs rather than inventors' imaginations.

IT and GTZ are frequently asked for their assessment of the suitability of solar cookers for use in developing countries. Regrettably, they are not convinced of the general appropriateness of solar cookers in their present stage of development, and so are not directly involved in their promotion.

The idea of harnessing a free source of energy is very attractive but the simple fact (usually ignored) is that the capital and maintenance costs of solar cookers which are effective, durable and easy to use and make, are far beyond the means of the poor. At present, solar cookers are a luxury in the Third World for those who are already relatively well off.

Other reasons why solar cookers have been found inappropriate and unacceptable to the needs of poor people in developing countries are their high cost, and the fact that they do not operate in bad weather or at times convenient for women to do their family cooking. They may also require the cook to be standing in the hot sun when cooking. Some basic foods such as potatoes, cassava, yarns and beans need to be well boiled before they can be safely put into a solar cooker. This means that two stoves are needed, and the cooking process takes several times longer than with the traditional three-stone fire or a simple mud or clay stove. It's Stove and Household Energy (SHE) prograrnme has concentrated on researching, developing and promoting improved biomass stoves to suit the local customs and conditions, which can save a quarter to a third of the fuel normally used.

Sponsors of this issue

Table of Contents


Solar Energy in the Home

Authors: BP Editorial Team

Theme Articles

Solar Cookers - A Cause Worth Promoting

Authors: Elisabeth Castiglioni

Gaining Ground in Solar Box Cooking in Kenya

Authors: Stephen Gitonga

ESMAP study points toward village-level management of woodfuel resources

Authors: Willem Floor

Sunstoves in the Republic of South Africa

Authors: Dr. T.B. Scheffler

Renewable Energy - A World Bank View

Authors: Dennis Anderson, Kulsum Ahmed

The Sunstove Solar Box Cooker

Authors: Richard C Wareham

The Solar Puddle - A New Water Pasteurization Technique

Authors: Dale Andreatta

Parameters for a Solar Cooker Programme

Authors: Richard C Wareham

A Solar Box Cooker with a Reflecting Lining

Authors: Kedar N. Nag, A.N. Mathur

Free Energy from the Sun

Authors: James Muriithi

A Dangerous Trade: Saving Wood by Burning Coal

Authors: Kirk R Smith

An Affordable Parabolic Solar Cooker

Authors: Ari Lampinen, Rajesh Sharma

Burning Charcoal Issues

Authors: Bert van der Plas

Parabolic Solar Reflector and Heat Storage Cooker

Authors: Gerhard Jobst

Comparative tests of solar box cookers

Authors: European Committee for Solar Cooking Research

Improving the three-stone fire

Authors: Grant Ballard-Tremeer, Harald H Jawurek

Coal briquetting and clays for Zambian stoves

Authors: N R Hill

Haiti's Domestic Fuel Project

Authors: Peter Young

Last edited by Mohamed Allapitchai .
Page last modified on Friday June 21, 2013 13:22:38 GMT.
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