One of the primary demands for energy in this world is for the cooking of food. It was estimated that 80% of the total wood consumption in developing countries was burned as fuel, and that more than two billions people today are in a fuel wood deficit situation.
One alternative that could help supplement conventional cooking is solar cooking. Solar cooking uses the free and abundant sunshine, from the Sun, as the energy source for cooking. Many types of solar cookers, ranging from high performance to low performance, have been successfully produced and used by people around the world. When widely adopted, solar cooking could help us save a lot of trees and other Earth's limited, non-renewable, resources. Solar energy source is everywhere, and there isn't a need to transport it. People just need to learn how this energy can be harnessed, right where they are, to cook their foods.
My contribution to solar cooking has been centered primarily on sharing with others what I have learnt from designing and simplifying cardboard type solar cookers. The solar cookers, which I build, were constructed mainly out of cardboard material, which is easily available in the form of used cardboard boxes. This is to ensure that people elsewhere will not have too much difficulty looking for the required material to replicate the solar cookers. The only high-tech material needed is the aluminum foil. The design goal is to further improve the cooker's efficiency, making construction easier as well as reducing and simplifying the material required.
Over the years, I have created a few simple homemade solar cookers and two of them; Dual-Angled-Twelve-Sided cooker (DATS) and Dual-Setting-Panel-Cooker (DSPC), are both featured on the Solar Cookers International website.
The Suntastic Panel Cooker was added to this website in early 2006. The Suntastic is basically a panel type cooker with three large, uniquely shaped, concentrating panels. Its dual-setting capability enables it to cook efficiently at both high and low Sun's altitudes. Its simplicity also belies its cooking power, as the Suntastic is capable of cooking without a greenhouse enclosure. This should help open up new solar cooking opportunity for those people with no access to suitable greenhouse enclosure materials. Construction plan for the Suntastic Panel Cooker is available on the Suntastic Panel Cooker Plan page.
In January 2008, the Fun-Panel Cooker was added to this website. The Fun-Panel cooker is a hybrid cooker incorporating features from both the Panel and Funnel solar cookers. Construction plan for the Fun-Panel cooker is available on the Fun-Panel Cooker Plan page.
The 'Sunny Cooker' was added to this website on 23 August 2008.
The 'Sunny Cooker' is a simple panel cooker, which is made from a flat sheet of 36" x 36" of cardboard. I designed this cooker because I was looking for a way to help offset
the recent rapid increased in the price of cardboard material due to inflation. The saving may not be much for a single cooker, but it would be significant if it is in large quantity.
The 'Sun-Funnel Cooker' was added to this website on 10 December 2011. The 'Sun-Funnel' cooker is similar to the 'Fun-Panel' but with a different panel fold and pot support system.
It is my hope that as the material required for solar cooking becomes simpler; more people will be able to benefit from making and using their own solar cookers. As a result of more solar cooking, fewer trees will be cut down, and the environment we live in will be healthier.
E-mail : Teong H. Tan
since Feb 2006
Last Updated: 10 December 2011