Solar Cooking
Last edited: 12 June 2021      

Pete Schwarz speaking at the SCInet Solar Cooking Convention 2014

Pete Schwartz, Professor in the Physics Department at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, California, USA.

In 2015, Pete Schwartz' students invented ISEC (Insulated Solar Electric Cooking), building the first prototype in three days before driving it to the Solar Cookers International conference in Sacramento, California to roast a chicken stew. Since then, they have continued to collaboratively develop and disseminate the technology, adding a USB charging port and Heat storage capacity with erythritol phase change material (PCM). Collaborations are often built through our appropriate technology classes and include a company that they started in Ghana in August 2019, funded by MECS. Read more at the ISEC research page.

Pete's involvement with solar cooking began in 2007, with particular interest in Scheffler Reflectors and other polar tracking heliostats, but changed to solar electric cooking after extrapolating the decrease in solar panel costs.



Audio and video[]

  • June 2021:

Insulated Solar Electric Cooking with Thermal Storage, EWB Sweden, Pete Schwartz, Cal Poly Physics-2

Pete Schwartz presents his team's latest findings, as they develop different approaches to insulated solar electric cooking. He predicts an eventual decline in the use of phase change materials (PCMs) to retain the heat for cooking, as batteries become a more efficient and less expensive way to store energy. This may happen in the next ten years. In the meantime, a solid block of aluminum is showing promise as a simpler way to store heat compared with PCMs.

  • February 2021:

Alternative ISEC Manual Walkthrough

Presentation by Alexis Ziegler of the Living Energy Farm ( about their alternative construction manual for Insulated Solar Electric Cookers

  • January 2021:

Insulated Solar Electric Cooker- Progress for ETHOS 2021, Pete Schwartz, Cal Poly Physics

  • August 2019:

Solar Electric Cooking in Ghana With Phase Change Thermal Storage, Pete Schwartz, Cal Poly Physics

August, 2019, we spent 3 weeks in Ghana. We made Solar Electric Cookers with Phase Change Thermal Storage with our newly made friends and colleagues. We introduced this cooking method in a small village without electricity

  • October 2018: 
  • February 2017:

Insulated Solar-Electric Cooking Technology and Uganda, Pete Schwartz, Cal Poly Physics

See Cal Poly Solar Cooking.

  • September 2015:
  • August 2015:

Why is SCI Important to You? Pete Schwartz

Pete Schwartz an Associate Professor with the Cal Poly physics department in San Luis Obispo, California, USA, quickly explains why SCI is an important resource for his teaching curriculum.

  • July 2014:

Schwartz Inexpensive, High Performance Solar Concentrators for less than $0 1 per Watt

External links[]

See also[]


Pete Schwartz
1441 Iris St.
San Luis Obispo, California 93401

Tel: +1 805-756-1220