SUNSTOVE® molded solar cookers are produced in South Africa, with local materials. They are sold at cost. To order, click here.
SUNSTOVES® have no expensive external reflectors which could blow away in the wind, do not reflect when dull or dirty, or require constant adjustment or focusing to collect the solar energy.
The sloped, internal walls and black bottom of the SUNSTOVE® solar cooker are comprised of a single piece of scrap aluminum. (Usually an offset lithograph printing plate.) The reflector sides reflect, radiate and conduct the sun’s energy to the black cooking pots.
To use, simply point the SUNSTOVE® solar cooker south (or north in the southern hemisphere) toward the position of the sun at noon and it will cook all day. The aluminum bottom is painted black to absorb the solar energy and prevent the sun’s rays from being reflected out of the cooker.
The large aperture (window) of the SUNSTOVE® solar cooker partially compensates for the lack of external reflectors. The temperature of the food will exceed the cooking temperature of 172 F. The water used in cooking acts as a heat sink and limits the food temperature to 212F (100C). Temperature of the pot cover can exceed 300F (148C).
The side walls are insulated with fiberglass blanket and the bottom with high density fiberglass to support pots of food. Cotton, wood, mineral wool, jute, hemp, etc. can be used but the aluminum bottom may require support to maintain the insulation thickness.
The low-cost case or housing of the SUNSTOVE® solar cooker is blow-molded from 75% reground plastic bottles and 25% virgin material. The black plastic case is strong, light, UV resistant, weather proof and the aluminum sheet (walls and bottom) snaps into place over the insulation.
The clear cover can be plastic sheet, framed plastic film or glass. In India and Africa “medium impact acrylic” are chosen because of low cost, availability and strength.
The SUNSTOVE® solar cooker is light weight (8 pounds), can be carried by one person, hung inside the home and shipped economically.
The sloped sides not only increase the size of the solar collection window and reflect the sun to the pots but also allows the units to be stacked (nested together) for shipping. Ten will fit on the back seat of a car, 50 in a small van, and 600 in a 20 foot container. In South Africa, two can be nested for shipment via parcel post.
The SUNSTOVE® is a quality solar cooker with long life which is sold at cost. This makes the project self-supporting. Time payment programs have been successful in South Africa.
To insure availability and low cost, black, enameled steel pots or anodized aluminum pots should be used with the stove. High cost, high temperature plastic bags are not required.