Solar Oven Helps Rural Folks Avoid Coal or Firewood in Cooking

Published on: 22 March 2022
by KnowESG

Rural communities now have a new solar cooking design that aims to do away with traditional and hazardous wood or coal-burning methods. The new technology in cooking will help safeguard the environment and rural people's health at large.

According to a recent study, an enhanced solar cooking system has been developed by engineers in Nigeria designed to replace traditional cooking using coal, wood, or other materials.

People in rural areas resort to such ways of cooking, which eventually damage our environment and health. The new approach entails two conventional solar oven designs and targets to provide a greener and healthier alternative.

Dr Clement A. Komolafe, a lead author at Landmark University, said: " Cooking by the burning of firewood and other non-environmental and non-eco-friendly fuels is still predominant in most developing countries, especially among the people living in rural areas and some urban cities. To discourage the usage of hazardous fuels for cooking, we thought of combining the solar box and parabolic dish types to produce one novel solar cooking system using locally sourced materials.”

Conventional cooking involves a box often made of glass or transparent material to trap the heat from sunlight and a spherical structure that reflects and focuses sunlight.

This newest cooker combines both technologies. Initial testing revealed that the cooker had a maximum heating power (wattage) of 58.2W, sufficient to boil water and cook rice and plantains. This performance is comparable to current solar cooking technology trends.

It also has design elements that make it simple to use and build for one person. Furthermore, no specific training would be required to operate it.

To build the device, the team used materials, including aluminium sheets, iron, steel pipes, plywood, and reflective glass.

Komolafe said "The next steps include design modifications to further reduce the rate of heat loss through the wall of the cooking box for better efficiency. For quick redistribution of this new device design to rural communities, we’re inviting interested Individuals, corporate organizations, and government parastatals to sponsor or partner in the project.”