Solar Cooking
Last edited: 17 February 2021      
Behringer 1

Rolf Behringer at the SCInet Solar Cooking Convention 2014

Rolf Behringer founded ULOG Freiburg in 1993. Since then he has mainly worked in African countries implementing solar cooker productions and trained experts in the field of solar cooking.

From 2000 up to 2003 he worked for the German Development Service in Namibia. Besides his main activity he supported the Solar Stove Project Valombola based at the Vocational Training Center in Ongwediva. In 2005 he initiated the Solar Food Processing Network while he was working at ISES Headquarter (Intertnational Solar Energy Society: As a result several workshops and trainings have taken place and the first international conference focusing exclusively on Solar food processing for income generation was held in Indore (India) in January 2009 in cooperation with the Barli Development Institute for Rural Women. A documentation of results is available here. A brochure was developed to spread the idea of solar food processing by showing selected examples. Link to brochures His longterm objective is to extend the Solar Food Network and to implement Solar Food Processing units around the globe. In Freiburg (Germany) he is producing solar box cookers and is running an internet shop. Besides working in the field of solar cookers he is teaching Renewable Energy and Energy Awareness at schools and universities.

Small Scale Solar Bakery[]

During the last decades several organisations implemented many projects trying to introduce solar cookers in domestic households. Experience shows that not only private households can profit from solar cookers but also small busnisses that use solar energy to produce any food product. This example shows a small bakery in the North of Namibia. In May 2003 a Solar Stove was developed in Germany in order to produce 24 loaves at once. In September a second stove was built in Namibia and is used since that time. The small scale bakery is able to bake up to 100 breads a day or about 300 little fish tin rolls. Meanwhile the system was built in India and in Burkina Faso in 2006.


Small scale solar baking

Solar-Trough-Baking-Oven Germany - Lesotho

A Technology Development cooperation between Sunsational Cookers Limited and the Bethel Business and Community Development Centre in Lesotho, supported by GloboSol.

Solar Cookers have been deployed in developing countries to alleviate poverty and fight deforestation. The solar cookers have been mainly used for household purposes and are designed to be versatile and flexible. Designing a solar cooker for a specific purpose increases its efficiency. The Solar-Trough-Baking-Oven (STBO), as constructed by Mr. Ivan Yaholnitsky in Lesotho, has proven itself to be an efficient tool to implement in villages where bread forms a major part of the regions diet.

Our aim is to improve the STBO and to provide a construction and implementation-manual.

See also Solar restaurants and bakeries.

Parabolic trough ivan yaholnitsky 2008

Solar through baking oven


Since June 2005 the device as depicted above has been in operation at the Bethel Business and Community Development Centre in Lesotho.

Baking Output

  • Manual mixing
  • Loaves (1000g) & 24 Cinnamon Buns
  • Machine dough mixing
  • 24 – 40 Loaves (1000g)

“Baking bread is hard work”, but even with manual dough mixing, an income double that of the statutory minimum wage could be achieved.


Based on observations made by Mr. Yaholnitsky we would like to improve the STBO following the criteria:

  • Materials should be locally attainable
  • Easy construction
  • STBO should be user friendly

Our Modification Aims


Prototype by De Wet van Rooyen and Rolf Behringer

  • Use of lighter material
  • Isolating the tube against convective losses thereby increasing resiliance against sporadic cloud cover
  • Solar tracking device: PV and mechanical
  • A construction manual will be written in English, including a tutorial on basic accounting and business practice.

Updated information following soon.

Some impressions of some activities:[]

BarliGate small

Gate to Solar Food Conference 2009

Taleti India small

Solar Community Kitchen in India Taleti


Solar Marmelade


Exhibition during SF Conference 2009


Solar Food Processing Network group photo, 2-14-14

Participants at the 2013 Solar Food Processing Network conference.

  • February 2013: The Solar Food Processing Network (SFPN) held a regional workshop in January 2013 at the Muni Seva Ashram in Goraj, Vadodara, Gujarat, India. This gathering was a follow-up to the 2009 AFPN conference held in Indore, India in 2010. Workshop participants heard from food marketing and technology experts. Conference organizers, Deepak Gadhia and Rolf Behringer held discussions on local and international marketing, village industries, packaging, policy interventions, R&D, and effective monitoring and evaluation of projects. Attendees discussed the formation of an international solar food standard and shared their own practical experiences using solar technology for food processing. Visit the Solar Food Processing Network to see a muscial video of the event and videos of solar food processing projects in Burkina Faso.
Gabon March 2006
  • March 2006: Sperancea Gabone (on left in photo) recently held a solar cooker exhibition at Mawenzi primary school in Moshi, Tanzania. Over 20 people gathered to learn about solar cooking and to taste solar-cooked food, including ugali, meat, beans and rice. Rolf Behringer, of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES), led a solar box cooker construction workshop at nearby Karanga Technical School, and joined Ms. Gabone at the exhibition. In addition to solar box cookers, retained-heat cookers were also used. (A retained-heat cooker, also known as a fireless cooker or “hay box,” is an insulated enclosure in which is set a pot of food that has been brought to a boil, allowing it to continue to cook after being removed from its heat source.)


Audio and video[]

  • July 2014:

Behringer Solar Food Preservation

External Links[]


Solar Food Processing Network
Rolf Behringer
Haierweg 27
D-79114 Freiburg

Tel: +49 761 1373680

Email: Contact form
Web: also SunInside