Solar ovens offer a cheap, CO2 neutral alternative way of cooking. In impoverished regions, most people cook with wood cut from nearby forests, this has a number of consequences, namely deforestation and severe health risks caused by breathing in fumes accumulated in houses due to poor ventilation.
If solar ovens are to become a wide-spread solution, locals attitudes and routines need to be adjusted. It appears that simply giving people these cookers isn’t enough, they need to be convinced of their effectiveness.
There are too fundamental different types of solar oven, focusing light (with mirrors), or trapping light (in a dark box). Many successful designs incorporate both principles.
There are two designs we would like to trial run at Saha Astitva, a parabolic solar oven and a box solar oven.
Parabolic Solar Oven Prototype
To make our parabolic solar oven we used an umbrella, the inside of which we covered with aluminium foil. Then a Black pot inside a clear plastic bag will be placed at the focal point. Light will be concentrated on the pot and unable to escape due to the plastic bag.
Although the parabolic solar oven is considered the fastest and hottest solar oven, we expect to be waiting over an hour to boil water.
The build budget for this design is about 300 rs, there will be no running or fuel cost.
If this design proves practical (testing will begin soon) we could invest in a more robust, larger parabolic mirror and build a permanent stand at the farm.
Our box solar oven is still in the drawing board.