Solar Cooking
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Last edited: 12 June 2024      
Nandwani 1

Professor Nandwani at the Solar Cookers International Network Convention in July, 2014.

Professor Shyam Nandwani is a leader in solar cooking research, and the former Director of the Laboratorio de Energia Solar at the Universidad Nacional in Costa Rica for many years. Shyam served on the Board of Solar Cookers International from 1993-1998. He is now a retired professor and independent researcher, user, and promotor of solar energy.

  • Letter regarding the "Energy Globe Award."
As planned I got the certificate as National Winner (Energy Globe Award) on Monday, April 13. Ufortunately I could not get the World Prize, firstly because some have to lose so that other could win ..., secondly after analysing the other winners (one in each category, Earth, Fire, Water, Air and Youth) I could see that the objective of the prize was to encourage the social projects, means the implementation of the device (in some rural area. It was more important than the research.
I am attaching some photgraphs. Although I have done lot of dissemination work, and in last thirty years, trained many persons (at least in 10 countries) to make Solar Cookers (mainly) and other solar devices, however at the time of application form, did not stress concrete numbers of cookers made directly under my instructions. The five winners (out of 110) did that.
Energy Globe Award Shyam Nandwani 2009

Shyam S. Nandwani recieving the "Energy Globe Award"

Maybe I will try again after two years, taking the award objective into consideration.
Once again I am thankful to Solar Cookers International (beng ex Board Member during 1990- 1997), Fraunhoffer Solar Energy Institue, (Sabattical during March- Aug.1996), IITAP (Sabbatical during Sept. 1996- Feb. 1997), RICSA (Member, during 1998- 2002) and ICTP (attending many courses on Solar Energy since 1977 and Associate Member during 1986- 2007) for getting the training and exchanging information with other research workers.
On the other hand I am pleased to inform that recently there was a competetion among university researchers to buy some equipments. Money was limited and there were many applicants. Recently I am informed that I got US$25,000 to buy new equipments for my laboratory. This will really be great help in the quality and ease of data measurements.
With best regards
Shyam S. Nandwani
Prof. Universidad Nacional
UNA, Heredia


  • NEW: June 2024: Dr. Shyam Nandwani has published a review of his research, testing and using solar cooking technology, in ACTA Scientific Applied Physics. His first efforts studying solar energy for cooking began in 1979 when he created a simple solar food warmer, and his continued interest in the field led to over 44 years of research. He has studied conventional solar cooking, hybrid solar electirc AC/DC ovens, short term sensible and latent heat storage, and multipurpose solar ovens and dryers. His published work typically includes a message of encouragement for interested persons and communities to incorporate solar cooking in order to save on fuel costs, maintain healthy conditions for those preparing the food, and to contribute in helping to maintain a healthy global environment. Read his paper...
Photo credit: Dr. Shyam Nandwani
  • November 2021: Dr. Shyam Nandwani has created a list of the many reports and other documents he has published researching developments in solar cooking, which he began in 1979. He has also provided his ideas on conserving energy at local colleges, by avoiding microwave appliances, and switching to solar energy.
Nandwani box cooker history, 11-24-21

Dr. Shyam Nandwani with the solar box cooker he designed. Photo credit: Dr. Shyam Nandwani

  • November 2021: Dr. Shyam Nandwani has chronicled his involvement promoting solar cooking and the development of a design for a solar box cooker. The design resulted as a response to save money from the increasing cost of imported oil. The cooker uses two boxes, one slightly smaller inside the other, with insulation placed between walls of the boxes. The cooker is still in daily use at his home. The exterior has been made more durable with the addition of a stainless steel outer surface. Read the Appropriate Technology article, Solar ovens - for cooking food and cooling the earth|thumb, for more information.
Shyam Nandwani at China convention, 9-18-17

Shyam Nandwani conducts a workshop on non-cooking uses for solar cookers in Costa Rica.

  • September 2014: Shyam Nandwani spoke at the Promesa at Santa Ana organization, lecturing on Solar Energy and Productive uses with solar devices, and assembeled Box Solar Oven about heated/cooked meals. The objective was to learn how solar cookers and other solar devices could be used for other purposes, and the end product could be sold. For instance, heating sandwiches, making candles, drying herbs etc. by using clean, free and abundant fuel- the Sun. The group now have the basic concepts and some possible uses. They plan to submit a proposal/project to get seed money (around $2,000 USD) to buy some materials, tools to start a small buisness and use part of the income to make the project sustainable.
Nandwani 2

Professor Nandwani (right) receiving the Energy Globe Silver Medal of Honor in 2014.

  • August 2014: Professor Nandwani was recognized by the Energy Globe Foundation for his work as Energy Globe Ambassador for Costa Rica since 2012 and awarded the Energy Globe Silver Medal of Honor.
Costarican school lunch photo, 12-22-12

School lunches are warmed in solar ovens at schools in Costa Rica.

  • November 2012: Solar Ovens used to warm lunches at educational centers - Due to electric rationing imposed by local Costarican Electricity utility company in January 1979, Shyam Nandwani made the first solar oven for his family in Feb. 1979, to warm the lunch cooked previous night. Shyam has observed the rising demand of our solar ovens at educational institutes to warm the lunch for the students at schools and colleges etc. According to school directors, the reason is to reduce the queue for using microwave ovens as well to reduce the electric bill for the institute and promote environmental culture for the students as well as also for the parents. Read the article - Shyam Nandwani
  • January 2010: Last year, Professor Nandwani was interviewed at BBC London studios (Latin Section) about solar cookers, which was followed by a report on their website in February 2009. He was also interviewed on the radio in Venezuela, and on Taiwan television talking about the benefits of solar cooking. A high-point for Shyam came in April 2009, when he received the Energy Globe Award at a ceremony in Prague, Czech Republic on national TV.


Audio and video[]

  • July 2014:

Nandwani Solar Food warmers for Educational Centres in Costa Rica

See also[]


Shyam S. Nandwani, Ph. D.
Prof. Retirado/Retired, UNA
Promotor, Consultor y Usuario de Energia Solar Member: International Solar Energy Society, Alemania/ Germany
Costa Rica

Tel: (506) 83737204
Facebook: Solar/REnewable Energy in Costa Rica Shyam S. Nandwani