Last edited: 21 February 2020
Events[edit | edit source]
- NEW: Webinar: Saturday, 24 April 2021 (6:00am - 7:30am PDT, 13:00 - 14:30 GMT): Adventures with Solar and Haybox Cooking - SF Innovation LTD, with Seggy Segaran, will present their experiences using solar and haybox cookers to save energy, and the range of improved combustion stoves they also use. This Zoom event is free but requires registration. More information...
- NEW: Webinar: Thursday, 29 April 2021 (2:00pm - 3:30am CEST, 12:00 - 13:30 GMT): Understanding the multilateral climate funds - The Women and Gender Constituency continues with their final webinar of the series: “Funding Gender-Just Climate Solutions”. This Zoom event is free but requires registration. More information...
- NEW: Webinar: (TBD): CONSOLFOOD: Baking bread in your solar cooker - Cooks are invited to send a 90 second maximum, video showing how to bake bread using the sun. Selected webinar videos will be compiled in a YouTube playlist for ease of presentation during the webinar. Submission requirements, by 30 April 2021
News[edit | edit source]
- September 2014: Dr. Shyam Nandwani spoke at the Promesa at Santa Ana organization, lecturing on solar energy and productive uses with solar devices and assembled Box Solar Ovens for heated/cooked meals. The objective was to learn how solar cookers and other solar devices could be used for other purposes and the sale of the end product. (For instance, heating sandwiches, making candles, drying herbs, etc., by using clean, free, and abundant fuel - the Sun.) The group now has the basic concepts and some possible uses. They plan to submit a proposal/project to get seed money (around $2,000 USD) to buy some materials and tools to start a small business, and to use part of the income to make the project sustainable.
- August 2014: Professor Shyam Nandwani was recognized by the Energy Globe Foundation for his work as Energy Globe Ambassador for Costa Rica since 2012 and awarded the Energy Globe Silver Medal of Honor.
- November 2012: Solar Ovens used to warm lunches at educational centers - Due to electric rationing imposed by the local Costarican Electricity utility company in January 1979, Shyam Nandwani made the first solar oven for his family in Feb. 1979 to warm the lunch cooked the previous night. Shyam has observed the rising demand for our solar ovens at educational institutes to warm lunches for the students at schools and colleges, etc. According to school directors, the reason for using solar ovens is to reduce the queue for using microwave ovens, as well as to reduce the electric bill for the institute and promote environmental culture for the students (and also for the parents). Read the article
- March 2012: After a roughly 16-year hiatus, the Costa Rican Solar Energy Association (Acesolar) rides again, and they want nothing less than to capture the sun. They recently held a demonstration of solar cookers at National University’s solar energy laboratory in Heredia. Much of the lab’s research is geared not toward photovoltaic production of electricity, but toward thermal solar energy – harnessing the sun’s heat that enters our atmosphere and channeling it to some productive end. Read more...
History[edit | edit source]
Costa Rica has a rich resource in the presence of Indian-born Shyam Nandwani, a Professor of Physics at the University Nacional in Heredia, a city near San Jose. Dr. Nandwani's personal interest and longtime demonstrations of the power of the sun for domestic purposes have been an inspiration to many, not only in Costa Rica but also around the world. He has been a speaker at numerous international conferences, including all of the world conferences on solar cooking, and has been a guest lecturer at universities in Germany and the United States, among others. He is a sparkplug in the coordination of networks of solar cookers, both in Central America and for the entire continent; almost single-handedly, he was responsible for the organization and implementation of the Second World Conference, held at his university. Surely, most Latin American solar cooks and promoters are familiar with his professional contributions.
Another outstanding contribution to the world of solar cooking is a demonstration site at the Universidad Nacional, where an outstanding collection of solar cookers and dryers of many types and varied size and scope, from household to field army, can be seen. Here one can see, touch, and thus understand the use of devices usually only seen in diagrams and pictures. Students in the university continue the research of Dr. Nandwani by working on and testing new designs, making old ones more efficient, and teaching others about the technology.
Dr. Nandwani not only demonstrates solar devices in his laboratory; his home is also a model for all who want to live lightly on the earth. He uses solar cookers (one of which has electrical backup in case of rain), solar water heaters, and even a microwave powered by a photovoltaic cell. The house is a delight to see and visit, a "must" in Costa Rica for solar cooker enthusiasts.
Another major actor on the solar cooking scene in Costa Rica was the organization called Fundacion Costaricense Sol de Vida (Sun of Life). This organization was one of those initiated in Central America by the work of an American, Bill Lankford. The network was known in the area by its Spanish name of PROCESO. More details of this work are given in the section on Guatemala, where the initial and largest project has been underway for some years.
An early activity of Sol de Vida was establishing a celebration La Fiesta del Sol (in keeping with Latin traditions of celebrations), honoring the sun and held annually. It proved to be a marvelous event for publicizing solar cooking, calling attention of many to this technology. It was not an isolated activity but rather an integral part of the larger project, Sol de Vida. In 1999, the organization was awarded the National Prize in Energy ~ Innovative Project for its work. The Ministry of Environment and Energy, the National Power and Light Company, the Chamber of Industries and the Association sponsor that award for the Investigation and Development of Energy and the Environment.
Sol de Vida also created an educational facility, EduSol, to house its promotional and teaching activity. The organization was recognized as an innovator beyond the borders of Costa Rica as well. Sol de Vida was one of the Costa Rican awardees of the Small Grant Program in 2001.
Another Costa Rica project was honored at Johannesburg by the award of the Equator Prize, offered by the same Small Grants Project program of UNDP. Associación ANAI, a local NGO in Costa Rica, promoted solar cookers that enable women to engage in income-generating activities, thus improving their living conditions and reducing the burning of fossil fuels. They reported a strong focus on encouraging women to pass on their knowledge to their children, thus promoting the use of solar cookers into the future.
- Main article: History of solar cooking
Climate and culture[edit | edit source]
- Wikipedia article on the climate of Costa Rica
- Costa Rica Energy Situation - Energypedia
- Solar cooker dissemination and cultural variables
Resources[edit | edit source]
Possible funders[edit | edit source]
Reports[edit | edit source]
- January 2017: Promotional Activities of Solar Cooking in Costa Rica and Other Latin American Countries—It's Necessary but with Proper Actions - Shyam Nandwani
- The Design, Construction, and Experimental Study of a Domestic Solar Oven Cum Drier in the Climate of Costa Rica - Shyam Nandwani
Articles in the media[edit | edit source]
- December 2018: Building hope and solar ovens
- March 2012: University lab taps the power of the sun - Tico Times.net
- February 2012: Guanacaste Women Use Sun to Cook - Inside Costa Rica.com
Audio and video[edit | edit source]
- January 2017:
- July 2014:
[edit | edit source]
The entities listed below are either based in Costa Rica, or have established solar cooking projects there:
SCI Associates[edit source]
- Main article: Solar Cookers International Association