Solar Cooker Development and Testing

Various types of solar cookers on display with a researcher inspecting them photo

This solar cooker development and testing project attempts to improve the performance, reliability and cost-effectiveness of low-cost solar cookers for use in developing nations. Many of the activities and documented results conducted under this project are presented below.



Solar cooker with a mirrored surface photoTests were conducted to determine the performance and feasibility of using cooking pots that incorporate a selective solar coating material. The selective coated pots were tested side-by-side with pots coated with standard flat black paint.

Why selective solar coating? In order to reduce losses due to heat emission, selective coatings reduce radiation heat losses. This makes it possible to absorb and transform a large part of the short-wave solar radiation into heat. Simultaneously, the emission of the long-wave heat radiation from the absorber (coated black pot) itself is significantly reduced.

Cookpot Drawings

Below are a set of draft drawings for the solar cooker’s Greenhouse/Cookpot, also referred to as the HotPot. (click each for full size)

Solar Cooker drawing
Solar Cooker drawingSolar Cooker drawing

Solar cooker panel manufacturing information

Below are drawings and a manufacturing information document for the construction of the solar cooker panel prototype. Drawings and instructional documents are in PDF format.

More Information

Large solar cooker oven being positioned by a researcher Solar Cookers International (SCI) is a non-governmental organization which has become an international institute on solar cooking since its founding in 1988. This is the premier site for information on solar cookers. Solar Household Energy (SHE) was incorporated in 1998 to identify and support promising entrepreneurs in areas of the world with adequate sunshine. First, SHE has the experience and expertise to provide in-country guidance on training in food preparation techniques. This requires the formation of local instructors to teach solar cooking and to conduct consumer support programs. Second, SHE conducts research on developments in passive solar technology. This is essential if SHE is to give entrepreneurs the best possible advice on equipment selection.

Years of Research: 2002

Sponsored by: Dorothy Ann Foundation on behalf of Solar Household Energy, Inc.