Solar Cooking
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Last edited: 8 August 2023      
Solar Cooking in the UK, Maclachlan, title image, 8-5-15
British architect Stewart MacLachlan has studied family energy savings with a solar cooker. Solar Cooking in the UK: Quantifying domestic energy saved using a solar box cooker.

Events[]

Dave Oxford at Green Gathering, 7-9-24
  • NEW:  1-4 August 2024 (Chepstow): Join Dave Oxford, from SLiCK solar cookers, at the annual Green Gathering to be held at Piercefield Park. He will be demonstrating a variety of the company's solar cookers. Dave mentions they have one or perhaps two cheap festival tickets available, in return for some help at the SLiCK pitch. You would need to be someone with experience/knowledge of Solar Cooking, and water carrying, and washing up. If you are available/interested, please get in touch – PM either Dave Oxford or Stewart Maclachlan via Solar Cooking UK Facebook.

Featured international events[]

SE for ALL forum logo 2024, 10-3-23
  • Rescheduled to early 2025 (Bridgetown, Barbados): Sustainable Energy for All Global Forum - Building on Prime Minister Mottley’s Bridgetown Initiative for the reform of development finance, the Forum will address the challenge of how we can mobilize sufficient finance on the right terms to meet global goals, especially for the most underserved communities, countries and regions – such as Small Island Developing States. The event wil be co-hosted by Sustainable Energy for All and the Government of Barbados, led by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley. More information...

Requests for proposal[]

  • Decentralized Renewable Energy Solutions utilizing Solar and Bio-Energy - Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments of ScienceDirect, is requesting guest-author submissions. The special issue, VSI: DRES is devoted to publishing research articles reporting the innovative designs and design interventions in solar thermal and bio-energy for decentralized energy systems (DES). It includes i) new and novel designs of prototype or commercial devices and technologies, their development, modeling and simulations and experimental validation; ii) innovations for processes, techniques, utilization, and applications; iii) novel use of materials for improving efficiency, performance, techno-economic feasibility, and sustainability and iv) research findings addressing the socio-economic, health and safety impacts, and life cycle assessments leading to proposing novel devices for DES. The Deadline for submission is 31 July 2024. More submittal information...
CONSOLFOOD 2025 logo, 4-28-24
  • The deadline for receipt of abstracts is 15th December 2024 - Advances in Solar Thermal Food Processing (CONSOLFOOD2025) is being planned for the 5th, 6th and 7th of May, 2025 in Marseille, France. The gathering expects to attract, once again, top experts from all over the world to present and discuss topics related to advances in solar food processing and solar cooking. An exhibition of solar cookers will be available for viewing during the conference at the nearby the solar restaurant Le Présage. The solar restaurant, along with the demonstration cookers, will produce a solar lunch. The whole conference program will be delivered in hybrid format, so those who register, but are not present at Marseille, will be able to participate online. Your abstracts should be sent via email to Celestino Ruivo at cruivo@ualg.pt in .doc, .docx, or pdf format. You should limit your abstract to 400 words, and follow these guidelines. All abstracts will be reviewed and assessed by members of the scientific committee. The organizing committee will inform each author whether their submitted abstract has been accepted. The committee encourages all authors to write an optional full length paper for inclusion in our conference proceedings. Successful authors should pre-record their presentations, using Powerpoint, or similar software. They will be invited to submit either a) a short presentation, of about 7 minutes duration, or b) a longer presentation, of about 25 minutes to cruivo@ualg.pt by 30th March 2025. The expected conference fee is 200 euros before 1st April 2025. Interested people facing financial difficulties should contact the organizing committee.
See also: Global Calendar of Events and past events in United Kingdom

News[]

Dave Oxford, Green Gathering, 2023, 8-8-23

Dave Oxford of SLiCK, hosted a solar cooking display at this year's Green Gathering 2023 in Wales, Photo credit: Dave Oxford

  • August 2023: Green Gathering - The annual SLiCK trip to the Green Gathering festival in Wales, to show and talk solar cooking for 4 days. Dave Oxford hosted the display. Cookers were set up early to capture some heat in the morning. A number of interested festival attendees said it was the best thing they’d seen that day. Hopefully more solar cooking enthusiasts in the making.


Great British Solar Bake Off 2017 demonstration, 11-7-17 copy

An evacuated tube solar cooker demonstrates it effectiveness at baking muffins at the Great British Solar Bake Off 2017 held in Chepstow, United Kingdom. Photo credit: Stewart MacLachlan

  • November 2016: Solar cooking in Cambridge - SLiCK UK demonstrated solar cooking at the Cambridge Museum of Technology during the Pivotal festival. Despite the cold ambient air temperature, low sun angles, and short solar cooking day, the sunny weather provided ample power for practical demonstration of panel, evacuated tube, and box cookers. Complementary cooking technologies were also on show, with improved combustion stoves and fireless cookers on display.
  • October 2016: 
    UK solar cooking article October 2016
  • September 2016: UK lecturer donates sixteen parabolic solar cookers to local communities - Karen Treasure, a lecturer at Plymouth University in the United Kingdom (UK), has donated sixteen parabolic solar cookers to various communities in Livingstone as well as in rural areas between Monze and Mazabuka in Zambia. “This year, there is a prediction that Zambia will lose 400,000 hectares of trees, which is not sustainable,” Dr Treasure said in her presentation. She feels solar cookers are among the best, sustainable options to benefit people living in rural areas. Read more... 
SLiCK at UK Green Festival August 2016

SLiCK's display at the UK Green Festival.

  • August 2016: SLiCK participated in the UK's Green Festival making solar cooking known to more residents of the UK.
Albedo solar cooker prototype, 2-20-13

The Albedo prototype solar cooker being developed by Dytecna and Oxford University.

  • February 2013: Dytecna, located in Worcestershire, UK, and Isis Innovation Ltd, the technology transfer company of the University of Oxford, are collaborating in the development of an innovative solar oven, targeting the developing world and humanitarian aid markets. According to their recent press release, the solar cooker Albedo (which means ‘reflective index’) contains no electronics, is purely mechanical, cheap and robust, and is easy to assemble and operate. Albedo will provide heating in excess of 200 °C (392 °F) in a small oven mounted on a portable work surface at a comfortable height. The Albedo oven and reflectors are supplied in a flat-pack system making it easy to transport, a critical and unique attribute. The reflectors are made flat, but form perfectly curved surfaces when assembled without the need for skilled labor. It appears the oven will remain stationary, while the reflector will rotate to maintain orientation to the sun. Read more...
  • March 2012: On March 13 at the House of Commons, the charity Cord is going to announce an extension of its innovative program of solar cooker deliveries and essential training. Cord originally commissioned research by Bolivia Inti-Sud Soleil, who identified the difficult task (often taking ten hours) of looking for wood needed for cooking and warmth, as well as the damaging environmental impact it is having on tree cover in Chad. Cord is hosting its parliamentary reception with MP for Warwick and Leamington Chris White, who is backing the scheme.
Design of theYear UK box oven

Selected at London Week: Designs of the Year

  • May 2010: London Week: Designs of the Year - A Kyoto Box solar cooker was included this year in the annual exhibition. More Information...
  • December 2009: Prince Charles brings up "solar-powered cooking" in conversation with military personnel and their families.
British embasy Mexico1
  • August 2009: The UK Embassy in Mexico has instigated an ambitious project to reduce its carbon footprint and save money. Over the past 2 years steps have been taken including purchasing more efficient cars, recycling paper and toner cartridges, and increased use of teleconferences and videoconferences to reduce travel. This year they have embarked on a new phase with a new goal to further reduce emissions and main energy costs by 20%. They anticipate reducing the embassy's use of butane gas by at least 80% through the use of solar heaters and better management of hot water. They plan to institute more efficient recycling, to solar heat shower water, to install and use solar coffee makers and solar ovens for people to cook their lunches, to recycle water, to relamp inefficient lighting fixtures, and to turn off hot water to the toilet room sinks. To be effective, all staff is encouraged to buy in to the projects and to contribute their ideas. To facilitate this, they have created a Green Terrace which doubles as an additional meeting room. The Terrace has a solar-powered coffee maker, solar oven, and water purifier.
Terry Elliott BangladeshUK

“They are hooked!”

  • July 2009: Terry Elliott reports that he and his wife Carole have been busy raising solar cooker awareness in the village of Boroudha, where Carole founded the Wear Surma Child Health Clinic in 1992. While at the clinic, the Elliotts became increasingly aware of health problems caused by traditional indoor cooking fires. Children are often burned in these fires, and the smoke causes respiratory illnesses. Firewood is also expensive, whereas solar energy is free. In addition to demonstrations at hotels and in the village, the Elliotts solar cooked a meal of fish, vegetable curry, lentils, and rice for several local Rotarians. “To say that the group was impressed is an understatement … they are hooked!” says Elliott. The Rotary Club of Jalalabad in Sylhet has proposed to set up a workshop to manufacture 1,000 solar cookers and hire trainers to teach solar cooking in a number of villages in northeastern Bangladesh. The budget for the project is about UK £6000, and a matching grant may be requested from Rotary International.
Paul booth funnel
  • July 2009: Paul Booth writes, “I’ve made a solar funnel cooker out of wood, using old beverage cans — cut open, flattened and then stapled to the wood — as reflectors. They appear durable and weatherproof, and cost nothing. I am achieving temperatures of greater than 95 °C (203 °F) during an English winter! I hope this information is of use to other people.”

History[]

Anna Pearce

A principal promoter in the UK was Anna Pearce. She also made an attempt to promote the Wonderbox (a retained-heat cooker) and the Anahat (a combined cooker and retained heat device) for use in country.

Archived articles

Climate and culture[]

Cooking accounts for 5% of household energy use in the UK. [1]

Resources[]

Possible funding[]

Facebook groups[]

Documents[]

Articles in the media[]

Audio and video[]

  • February 2024: Luther Krueger interviews Dave Oxford and friends
Dave_Oxford-Lee_Wharton-Claire_Coombe-Charlie_Nicholson-_Prince_Solar_Cooker_Reigns_at_Camp_Kernow-2

Dave Oxford-Lee Wharton-Claire Coombe-Charlie Nicholson- Prince Solar Cooker Reigns at Camp Kernow-2

  • January 2017: 
Stanford_in_the_Vale's_Superhome

Stanford in the Vale's Superhome

A Superhome owner in Stanford in the Vale is wanting to encourage the rest of Oxfordshire to help save energy.

  • July 2014:
MacLachlan_Quantifying_UK_domestic_energy_savings_using_a_solar_box_cooker

MacLachlan Quantifying UK domestic energy savings using a solar box cooker

Read conference paper...

Contacts[]

The entities listed below are either based in United Kingdom, or have established solar cooking projects there:

SCI Associates[]

NGOs[]

Manufacturers and vendors[]

Individuals[]

Government agencies[]

Educational institutions[]