Solar Cooking
Last edited: 23 October 2020      

The Hybrid Solar-Biomass Cook Stove is an innovative efficient wood stove that also incorporates a solar reflector. It is the invention of Dr. Arvind Chel of the Center for Energy Studies, IIT Delhi, India. Research is being done in cooperation with Duke University, USA, under the umbrella group of Mango Solar Energy Service.

The Hybrid Solar-Biomass Stove burns all biomass varieties, including wood. The combustion chamber focuses the flame and forces the gases to mix with the flame, which increases efficiency and decreases harmful emissions. The solar component consists of an insulated chamber that fits on top of the biomass stove and a solar reflector that sits on top of this chamber to direct sunlight inside. The combination of these technologies will reduce fuel costs and harmful emissions.

The hybrid solar biomass cook stove is user-friendly and will provide the flexibility to use the solar component during sunlit daytime, and biomass during night time, independent of seasonal variations. This novel cook stove can make fried food products, which is not possible using box or panel style solar cookers.

This clean efficient cook stove has enormous potential in Indian villages which are suffering from inefficient biomass cook stoves. The target customers are spending daily Rs.12 to Rs.25 on cooking fuel daily. In contrast, the hybrid biomass solar cook stove requires daily Rs.6 to Rs.12 for biomass fuel. A prototype stove was to be built at Duke University.


Many investigations have been conducted in biomass stoves to improve performances and minimize unfavorable effect on both human health and global climate. Solar cookers are also great area of investigation which can cook food without burning any wood. But a solar cooker cannot replace the traditional energy source completely; even in the sunniest regions there will be days and hours the sun doesn’t provide enough power to cook meal. Recent researches and investigations are focused on improving the efficiency of existing only biomass or only solar cookers and there is a research gap in combining solar and biomass for cooking. A combined cook stove is another research dimension for intervention with an intention of using the benefit of the free solar energy to save biomass fuel. In this work, design, fabrication, and testing of portable solar-biomass combined cook stove have been done. The test was done by using only biomass, only solar and combined energy sources for cooking. The results show that the biomass stove with reflectors under the sun gives a 5% thermal efficiency rise and 6 g/L reduction in fuel consumption when compared to the only biomass stove. When only solar box oven used the first figure of merit was found to be 0.12 and second figure of merit found to be 0.55.

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See Arvind Chel.