Solar cooking for everyone
Last Friday I finally got the Solo Stove, and Saturday I tried out a solar cooker in combination with the new wood gas stove. I have had this idea for quite some time, but I never found any reliable energy source, until now! The Solo Stove fits neatly inside the solar cooker, and the reflector is heating both the casserole and the gasifing stove. The gas is getting hotter and ignited at even higher temperature. This is in turn will increase the effect of the stove.
But why use a gasifing stove, when you can use no fossil fuel at all with your solar cooker? One general answer might be to have a more complete cooking solution. In Africa where I live, multiple energy solutions are already in use.
There might also be a practical approach. Instead of spending one hour, the Solo Stove only needs about 5 minutes to get 1 liter of water to the boiling point. As the fire burns out we found that the water continues to boil with the solar cooker. The positive side is that the food gets ready almost as quickly as on gas stove, and with the solar cooker you can't burn your food. The use of fossil fuel is also reduced to a minimum.
If you need the speed and efficiency of a gas stove, we must admit that you can't get this with a small solar cooker. But the problems is only related to the first phase of cooking, the heating process. We found that you need a lot of energy to get 1 liter of water to the boiling point, but then only a fraction of the energy is needed to keep it boiling.
If a dish need about 30 minutes to be prepared, you dont really need the Solo Stove for more than the first 5 minutes. This means that you can save about 80% of the energy and the time needed to add fuel into the stove! (Which you need to do every 2 minutes.)
The Solo Stove is a clean burning stove with almost no smoke and with high temperature and efficiency. It can save you 50% of the energy. The solar cooker gives enough energy to keep several liters of liquid at the boiling point and it never burns your food. In this way you can take advantage of the sun as long as the sun is shining. Both the Solo Stove and the solar cooker is reducing the need of fossil fuel, and when used together, the need of fossil fuel is reduced with up to 90%. It is a hybrid solution with high efficiency in combination with free solar power.