Solar Cooking
Last edited: 26 January 2022      

Responding to requests from cooks, agencies, and manufacturers, Solar Cookers International (SCI) has created the Performance Evaluation Process (PEP), an objective, scientific process to evaluate solar cooker performance. Solar cooks and purchasing agencies around the world need these valuable performance metrics to select the solar cooker that best fits their needs.

The testing station, shown below, has been developed to provide objective results regardless of the test's geographic location or weather conditions.

Solar Cookers International's PEP testing station, Photo credit: Alan Bigelow

The PEP testing station inner workings, Photo credit: Alan Bigelow


  • June 2020: PEP Update -  On a 19 June 2020 video conference, SCI Executive Director, Caitlyn Hughes and Science Director, Alan Bigelow, conducted a basic overview of the different types of solar cookers, explained the various parts of the Performance Evaluation Process (PEP) test station, and the history behind the process. They also shared results and lessons learned from conducting tests on specific solar cookers.


  • Based on the internationally accepted ASAE S580.1 protocol for Testing and Reporting Solar Cooker Performance
  • Harmonizes with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) test ISO/TC 285 protocols being developed for clean cookstoves
  • SCI is a solar cooker testing center registered with the Clean Cooking Alliance.

Testing centers[]

A CooKit solar panel cooker is tested with a double Pyrex bowl being used for the greenhouse enclosure, Photo credit: Alan Bigelow

Local testing of solar cookers supports local economies - an SCI goal. Local testing means tapping leaders’ expertise: knowledge of their culture, language, and foods to identify the highest-quality, most durable solar cooking technologies for those regions. With additional funding from donors, SCI could consider opening additional testing centers. Want to learn how you can fund an SCI testing center and support local economies? Contact today.

Current SCI/PEP Testing Centers[]

  • Kenya - Nairobi, University of Nairobi.
  • Nepal – Lalitpur. Center for Rural Technologies (CRT).
  • USA – Nyack, New York. Solar Cookers International.
  • USA – Pollock Pines (Greater Sacramento area), California. Solar Cookers International.


PEP cooker tested label 2, 1-13-21.jpg


Audio and video[]

  • January 2022:

Alan Bigelow- The Performance Evaluation Process (PEP) Test for Solar Cooker Watts-2

See also[]

External links[]


See SCI.