Thursday, 24 February 2011

Solar Ovens: Cooking With Sustainable Energy From The S

A solar oven cooks with direct sunlight, the cheapest and most sustainable energy source on (or off) the planet. Every morning brings a fresh supply of clean and renewable fuel for solar cooking. Best of all, it's free. Use as much solar energy as you want!
Residents of industrialized countries can save dollars and resources by using solar energy for cooking in solar ovens even before widespread solar energy is available for electricity. In developing countries, wood and coal are not always available for cooking. This is especially true in areas with high concentrations of people with little infrastructure such as remote villages. Thankfully, sunshine is generally available to provide heat for cooking with great results using simple technology.
Urban and suburban residents might use a solar oven on their patio or back yard for environmentally friendly cooking. Rural homes that are off-the-grid appreciate the ability to bake muffins, cook a casserole or a pot of beans, and make a batch of brownies without a traditional oven requiring inaccessible electricity or expensive propane. Anyone conscious of the need to conserve energy finds solar cooking a satisfying and sustainable alternative to cooking with energy produced by coal-fired power plants or other fossil fuels.
Third world countries rely on larger, village-sized, solar ovens for cooking in the wake of disasters such as hurricane, tsunami, or other natural disaster. After exhausting nearby supplies of wood, residents of refugee camps utilize large solar ovens, often furnished by non-governmental organizations (NGO), for feeding large numbers of people per day. With temperatures easily exceeding the boiling point of water, solar ovens can be used to make available water safe for drinking. Epidemic illness can often be avoided with solar oven pasteurization.
For single family uses, a small portable oven offers an efficient cooking option. A nutritious, hot meal feeding six to eight can be cooked in a sun-powered oven using free energy. Larger ovens, suitable for a village, are typically mounted on a swivel table attached to a small trailer. Both the village and the single family models fold easily for storage or transport. The village model put out by a well-known manufacturer is designed to accept a propane wand as a cooking heat source on the rare days when there is simply no sun.
Remote homes count on solar ovens in the event of power outage. Back country cooking is a natural for solar cooking. Eating fresh brownies on a wilderness trip is pretty exciting for most of us that have had to starve our sweet tooth while hiking or canoeing in the wilderness.
While the simple technology of these ovens lends itself to the do-it-yourself folks, we suggest a commercially built product. When we tried to build a device for solar cooking, we found it was inefficient and impractical even though we are experienced builders. We bought a commercial oven that we love and have used heavily for seven years. It is still working well.
If you share our concern about the state of our environment or if you are living off-the grid or find yourself in any of the scenarios above, we urge you to try solar cooking.
For more information on solar ovens and their versatility, please visit