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IFEED Projects:
Cooking with Solar Energy

Development and Construction of Solar Cookers

This cooker is particularly suited to the conditions of rural regions in Developing Countries.

Solar Steam Cooking System

With technical assistance provided by M/s HTT GmbH of Germany and funding from GATE/ GTZ also of Germany, the first solar steam cooking system to cook for 1,000 persons was developed and installed at the Brahma Kumaris' Ashram, Mt.Abu in Rajasthan. In 1997, this was the first Solar Steam Cooking System based on Scheffler Solar Concentrators in the World. Its success has led to many more systems being installed in India.

The cooker consists of three key components:

The primary reflector is a 9.5 square meter parabolic dish fitted with a set of acrylic mirrors or glass mirrors. They reflect and concentrate the sunlight falling on the dish onto the secondary reflector placed below the cooking vessel inside the kitchen. The concentrated light is then deflected off the secondary reflector onto the blackened cooking vessel. Temperature of the concentrated sunlight at the focus can reach up to 450 °C! This can cook for 40 - 50 persons daily. The primary reflector only needs to be reset once every morning and it automatically tracks the sun's movement throughout the day!

IFEED Experiment in Solar Cooking

Two simple solar cookers, which were built solely out of cardboard and aluminum foil cooked rice and potatoes in summer temperatures near 40 degrees Celsius. While the rice was finished after two hours, even after six hours the heat for the potatoes was not enough.


The result could be summarized as follows: with the simplest of means, a least-cost solar cooker can be self produced. By optimizing the design to a larger collector area and better insulation against heat loss combined with proper selection and preparation of food cut into little pieces, it could be a practical and affordable alternative for simple cooking in warm developing countries.