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Parabolic Cookers

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Marc Ayats made a parabolic solar cooker by purchasing an umbrella, covering the inside with ordinary aluminum foil and cutting off the handle (because the handle would be at the focal point of the reflector — where you must put your cooking pot). He used ordinary white adhesive to glue the reflective sheet to the umbrella’s cloth. He says it is a very simple cooker to make because umbrellas are normally parabolic in shape. He also says it is easy to move — it folds up like a regular umbrella. The pot is held in place with a wire frame used for holding flower pots.

Contact: Marc Ayats Plana, C/Pinto S. Abril, No 8, piso 2, 46005 Valencia, Spain. E-mail:

Enjoy the water Bender Bayla is near the northern tip of Somalia and was badly damaged by the 2004 tsunami. Solar cookers are in wide use there. More info.

The Devos cooker is a solar focusing collector, with an open focus. But many differences and advances are noticeable from the usual parabolic cooker :

  • The cooker is made of two main parts : a table and a concentrator.
  • The concentrator reflects and focus the solar rays under the table, where a hole is made, and where you put the pot.
  • The concentrator is asymmetrical. That way, it can collect all the solar rays. This also allows the table and the pot not to make any shadow on the concentrator.
  • The table protects the cook from burns and dazzles. Even if the focus move, the table shelters the user and is a safety device to do the cooking quietly. s
  • There are two simple devices used to track the solar position. The first one allows the control and the tracking of the variation of solar azimuth. The second one allows the tracking of the variation of solar altitude.
  • A special device can regulate the heat under the pot. A shutter and an indicator allow the cook to reduce or increase the heat under the pot.

showing This reflector is formed from clay using the apparatus shown.
showing The SK-14, a parabolic that has the focus deep inside to avoid eye damage.
showing A South African woman cooking with an SK1200 cooker.
metal1 This cooker, made from sheet metal, was designed and constructed 
in the Metal Workshop of Ram Ashish Sharma in Lahan, Nepal.
This cooker was designed by a Chinese government energy research centre. It boils 1 liter of water in good sunshine in 20 minutes in the kettle shown. The area of the mirror(s) is two square meters. The cooker costs about 100 USD in Kathmandu, Nepal.
lima1.jpg (202377 bytes) A cooker in Lima, Peru.
fresnel3.jpg (21921 bytes) A Fresnel design built by Ed Norman.
A parabolic cooker made from cardboard by the Peru Children’s Trust.
dish1.jpg (35178 bytes) Gilles Guidan is overseeing construction of what may be the largest single solar cooker in the world: a giant parabolic dish in the roof of a community kitchen in Auroville, Tamil Nadu. For inf.: Auroville Building Centre, CSR Auroshilpam, Auroville 605101, Tamil Nadu, India, tel 413-62168 or 62277, fax 620517, email:
gujarat2.jpg (56978 bytes) A large Scheffler cooker focuses sunlight onto a heat collector that allows for cooking inside of this building for large numbers of people 
gujarat1.jpg (76289 bytes) Another view of a Scheffler cooker.
photok.jpg (95807 bytes) A Scheffler cooker in Egypt.

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