Lately I tried out a solar cooker in combination with the small wood gas stove, Solo Stove. The Solo Stove fits neatly inside the solar cooker, and the reflector is heating both the casserole and the gasifing stove. The solar heating of the gazifing Solo Stove means that the stove and the gas gets hotter and the gas is ignited at higher temperatures. This is in turn 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 working together with the solar cooker 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. Solar CookersThe 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 don't really get this with a small solar cooker. But the problems is only related to the first phase of cooking - the heating process. We know that you need a lot of energy (380 000 Jules) to get 1 liter of water to the boiling point, but then only a fraction of the energy is needed to keep it boiling. The Solo Stove is a clean burning stove with almost no smoke and with high temperature and efficiency. 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%. This hybrid solution gives you high efficiency in combination with free solar power.