Solar Cooking
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Last edited: 29 December 2020      

Roger Haines

Roger Haines is a resident of San Diego, California, USA, and Foundation Chair of the San Diego Rotary Club 33. Roger is a Board member of Solar Household Energy, a Washington, D.C., USA based promoter of solar cooking, and also a member of the Solar Cookers International Association.

His 2013 "double curve" panel cooker was made from commercial plastic bubble wrap insulation. His 2014 design is made from reflective MPET (metalized polyester film bonded to IXPE (cross-linked polyester) foam insulation with a white polyester foam backing. The reflective polyester will not oxidize, cannot be scratched off, and has a high melting point. Importantly, the new material is easy to recycle and is environmentally safe through the whole production and recycling process without pollution.

Haines 1[]

The Haines 1 solar cooker

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Main article: Haines 1

Haines 2.0[]

The Haines 2.0 solar cooker

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Haines Solar Cookers began producing a new Haines 2.0 Solar Cooker in spring of 2018. According to Roger Haines, the new cooker heats water almost twice as fast as other panel or box cookers. In late January 2018, Roger Haines conducted side-by-side tests in Del Mar, California, comparing the new cooker with his original Haines Solar Cooker, a Haines-Copenhagen, and the popular CooKit.

Main article: Haines 2.0


  • June 2019: Roger Haines provides a review of various solar cooker types.

Roger Haines meets with the Alliance for African Assistance to discuss distributing solar cookers in Uganda. - Photo credit: Roger Haines


Kakuma refugee camp setting the pace in use of renewable energy

  • April 2017: On April 29, 2017, a solar cooking festival for 500 schoolchildren was held at Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. The idea was originated by three of the participants at the 6th SCI World Conference 2017, put on in January by Solar Cookers International in Gujarat, India. Roger Haines, CEO of Haines Solar Cookers, Ritesh Raithatha, CEO of Simplified Technologies for Life, and Godfrey Mawira Kaburu, an engineer with the World Food Program in Nairobi. At the Gujarat conference, Godfrey presented the results of his study showing that in October, 2016, solar cooking was the second-most preferred method of cooking at the Kakuma Refugee Camp, even though very few solar cookers were available. To create an inexpensive, durable cooker for the festival, Roger collaborated with Sharon Clausson, designer of the Copenhagen Solar Cooker, to design a “Haines-Copenhagen” cooker using Roger’s metallized polyester (MPET) foam reflector, and a UV-resistant polycarbonate Haines Cooking Sleeve. The cookers were made in Kakuma by refugees from materials donated by Haines Solar Cookers, and should last 10 years with proper care. Ritesh’s company, Simplified Technologies for Life, has produced “Suryakumbh” solar cooking festivals for almost 120,000 participants in India, and holds the Guinness Record for the most people solar cooking at the same time: 7,438. Ritesh and his colleague, Vivek Kabra, provided expertise and leadership for the festival. Godfrey put together a team of experts, including Mwenda Wilkinson, who handled the logistical, financial, and personnel details. The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) generously donated the services of Raphael Nyabala and Wilson Kinyua and many others to recruit the children and provide facilities and transportation. Funding was provided by Haines Solar Cookers and the San Diego, California, Rotary Club. Additional support and resources came from Solar Household Energy (SHE), a Washington, DC solar cooking organization. Other partners included Eco-Mandate, which sells solar cookers in Chuka, Kenya, the Alliance for African Assistance, a San Diego-based refugee resettlement organization, and the Rotaract Club of the University of California, San Diego, which made 500 Water Pasteurization Indicators (WAPIs) for the Festival participants. Training was provided by Faustine “Mama Solar” Odaba, and her Nairobi NGO, NAREWAMA. Significantly, Ms. Odaba had been one of the trainers in 1995 when SCI first introduced solar cookers in Kakuma. Before the festival, 50 refugee women were trained to use the cookers, and they in turn trained the children. The festival took place at Hope Primary School in Kakuma Camp Four. During the festival, “Mama Solar” set up fifteen cookers and cooked a wide variety of food, including rice, vegetables chicken, eggs, cabbage, ugali, beans and cake. The children sat in neat rows as trainers handed out the cookers, cooking pots, food and water. Each child assembled their own cooker, and successfully cooked delicious noodles before an enthusiastic crowd of family members and relatives. The children were elated and proudly showed off their new cookers. Follow up studies are planned, and Roger Haines is working with a local entrepreneur to offer Haines-Copenhagen solar cookers for sale in Kakuma for a sustainable price of around $25 USD.
  • October 2015: Women in remote village to receive solar cookers - Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, USA resident Paul Van Buren will travel to Zimbabwe this month, taking with him solar cookers that will allow the women, who are infected with HIV/AIDS, to cook without firewood, adapt to a changing environment, and learn to live more positively. He worked with fellow Rotarian Roger Haines from a San Diego club. Haines has developed a solar cooker, the Haines Solar Cooker, appropriate for Africa. Read more...
  • October 2013: San Diego, California, Rotary Clubs partnered with the Nairobi Mashariki Rotary Club in Kenya to provide 291 "double curve" Haines Solar Cookers made from reflective bubble insulation for a pilot project in Kenya. Training was provided by Faustine Odaba, Director of the Kenya-based Natural Resources and Waste Management Alliance (NAREWAMA). The new design used a polycarbonate "cooking sleeve" to insulate and elevate the cooking pot off the surface of the cooker. Three months after distribution, Rotary evaluators found that 5 of 6 women were still using their cooker at least weekly.  Half used their cooker every day, and one-third cooked two meals a day. The women averaged $9 USD (786 KES) in monthly savings on firewood and reduced their firewood consumption by 77%.
  • July 2014: Building material supplier in Kenya imports solar cooker supplies - Roger Haines reports that Global Hardware, Ltd., a prominent Nairobi, Kenya building supply company, ( Tel: +254 20 2399998/7 E-Mail:, has purchased a large quantity of reflective foam insulation and polycarbonate plastic film for resale in wholesale quantities for $15 per cooker for making Haines Solar Cookers. Faustine Odaba's NAREWAMA will be making and selling the new reflective foam solar cookers, and the hope is that the availability of these inexpensive materials will promote the creation of other solar cooking entrepreneurs in East Africa as well. Haines' San Diego Rotary Club has purchased materials for 500 of the new cookers for a joint project with the Rotary Club of Gulu, Uganda.

Audio and video[]

  • June 2019: Roger Haines provides a review of various solar cooker types.
  • June 2017: 

See also[]

External links[]


Roger Haines

Tel.: +1 (858) 736-5505