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Solar Cooker Review

August 2006

The Solar Cooking Archive:


Volume 12, Number 2
(Back Issues at

Paper Circulation: 10,000
Online hits: Hit Counter

In This Issue

News you send

[Editor’s note: "News you send" is compiled by Ramón Coyle, Solar Cookers International’s information exchange specialist. E-mail your news items to or mail to Ramón Coyle, Solar Cookers International, 1919 21st Street #101, Sacramento, California 95811-6827, USA. We want to hear from you — especially if your program is growing or if your work has not been featured in the Solar Cooker Review before. Please include your contact information. Submissions are subject to editing if printed.]


Côte d'Ivoire

Several workshop participants show off
their newly-made CooKits

Last March, the Côte d'Ivoire Girl Scout Federation conducted a public solar cooker workshop in Abidjan. Three Girl Scout trainers led a group of 27 participants, including representatives from governmental and nongovernmental agencies, through the three-day training course. On the first day, participants split into small groups to construct simple solar CooKits from cardboard and foil. They also painted several pots and jars black for use in their new solar cookers. On the second and third days, participants learned about the benefits and concepts of solar cooking while foods they prepared - chicken, fish, vegetables, eggs, rice, and "toh," a corn flour paste - cooked successfully in the sun. Water was also solar pasteurized, using a Water Pasteurization Indicator (WAPI) to determine when the water was safe. According to General Commissioner Jeanne Meland Aka, the workshop attracted national print and radio media coverage. Contact: Susan Craig, 08 BP 653, Abidjan 08, Côte d'Ivoire. E-mail:


Gnibouwa Diassana of Bla won a "2006 Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy" worth 2,500 pounds sterling. The funds will enable his project Sun for All to increase production of cookers and to reach out to more women's groups and other community organizations. Diassana has built a variety of solar cookers, plus a solar food dryer and solar water heater. Most of the 95 solar cookers he has built are of the box type with three reflectors, based on a design by the Swiss organization ULOG. He has found homes for most of the cookers with organizations of artisans, nonprofits, women's groups and individual families. He reports that the cookers have been adapted for Mali and can be constructed with locally available materials and tools, even in remote areas.

Gnibouwa Diassana with several of his
solar box cookers and a painting he
made depicting the question: After
using the last tree to cook the last
food, what we will do?

To facilitate getting cookers into the hands of people who need them, Diassana has sold cookers at half price or on credit. He has been able to follow up directly with most of the users and observes that they are using less conventional fuel. He estimates that about 950 people have directly benefited from his cookers, while 10,000 more have witnessed solar cooking at his exhibitions and demonstrations. Radio and television coverage has spread the word further. Diassana reports that the effects of deforestation have become increasingly visible near Bla in the past few years, and that his work with solar cooking is meant to address this problem while also helping women save money and time and reduce their exposure to smoke. His project has received some outside support, but his personal donations have sometimes exceeded 40% of the project's budget. He credits Roger Bernard of France and Angela Calvo of Italy as his main solar cooking influences. With his new funds from England to promote Swiss-designed cookers, Diassana illustrates the international connectivity in solar cooking. Contact: Gnibouwa Diassana. E-mail:


A solar cooker project in Ongwediva won an "Inspiration Lives in Africa" award from Namibia's Standard Bank in April. Ongwediva's Solar Stove Project, now in its eighth year, introduces solar cooking to women to combat deforestation and to provide employment opportunities like solar bakeries and catering. The award, worth 50,000 Namibian dollars, will be used to increase marketing activities. Contact: Solar Stove Project. Tel: +264 65 231463.


The organization Sun Fire Cooking is promoting Chinese solar concentrating cookers in northeastern Somalia. In 2003, 14 of these high-temperature "butterfly" style cookers were purchased and tested by households in the town of Bosaso, and user feedback was positive. The families, each with eight or more members, use the solar cookers to cook lunch and evening meals. One user said that her monthly charcoal usage dropped from 100 kg of charcoal each month to about 25 kg. Several others in the community expressed interest in purchasing solar cookers.

This woman says she uses very little
charcoal now that she is solar cooking

With funding from the United Nations, and in partnership with the NGO Horn Relief, Sun Fire Cooking recently distributed solar cookers to all 550 households in the small fishing village of Bander Beyla on the Indian Ocean coast of Somalia. (Bander Beyla was damaged by the 2004 tsunami.) A team of 12 individuals, led by Shukria Dini, assembled and distributed the cookers, and trained the new solar cooks. Several families have shared stories of improved quality of life with solar cooking. One young woman commented that her fuel savings allow her to send her 10-year-old daughter to school. Another solar cook reported improved health due to reduced smoke exposure. In some parts of town the cookers are in constant use, while in other areas they mostly sit idle. Project leaders expect usage rates to increase as the solar squad makes additional follow-up visits to households. Sun Fire Cooking is planning for expansion to three additional coastal villages, including Dhuur and El-Didhir.

These El-Didhir villagers are not intimidated
by the new technology; they are keen to
start solar cooking

Sun Fire Cooking is led by Fatima Jibrell, founder and former head of Horn Relief. In 2002 she won a prestigious "Goldman Environmental Prize" for her work protecting natural resources in Somalia, particularly old-growth acacia trees that are burned to make charcoal for export. Sun Fire Cooking hopes to curb deforestation in the area through expanded use of solar cookers. Contact: James Lindsay. E-mail:, Web:






A Haiti woman testing new add-on reflectors
available for the Dakota SUNSTOVE(r) solar

Solar Oven Partners, based in Brookings, South Dakota (USA) has been active in Haiti for years, where it has distributed thousands of solar cookers. In a recent edition of their newsletter, Solar Oven Partners presented the results of a survey of 15 Haitian solar cooks. Asked how many days they would use their solar cookers during a 10-day sunny period, seven said every day, two said seven to eight days, and the remaining six would solar cook two to five of the ten days. Solar meals have included meat, macaroni, cake, rice, beans, fish, vegetables, bread, eggs, and cornbread. Eleven of the 15 surveyed said they had explained solar cookers to others who then became interested in acquiring their own. On average, families indicated that charcoal now lasts two to three times longer than it did before solar cooking. Solar Oven Partners plans to distribute 1,000 more solar cookers during 2006. Contact: Solar Oven Partners, Brookings 1st United Methodist Church, 625 Fifth Street, Brookings, South Dakota 57006, USA. Tel: 605-692-3391, Web:


Paraguay held its first international seminar on renewable energy in late March, drawing representatives not only from Paraguay but also from Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Greece, and Spain. The five-day seminar was an activity of the European Union's Urb-Al program, which links interested urban and rural organizations from various European and Latin American countries in decentralized cooperation networks. Efforts were made at the conference to form a network of universities in Paraguay to push for renewable energy. The universities were asked to consider developing a post-graduate course in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Contact: Martin Almada. E-mail:


Solar promoters, from left to right: Pedro
Serrano (Chile), Gerardo Honty (Uruguay),
Juan José Oña (Uruguay), Alfredo Esteves
(Argentina), Delcio Rodriguez (Brazil), and
Oscar Nuñez (Chile)

Juan José Oña reports that Uruguay observed its Solar Week with the Second National Conference on Solar Energy in Montevideo in March. The Uruguayan Center of Appropriate Technologies (CEUTA) formed a network of solar promoters at last year's conference and has held workshops nationwide during the past year. These actions have invigorated the solar cooking movement in Uruguay, which was reflected in this year's conference. The events featured solar cookers, water heaters, and food dehydrators designed and built by inventors from across the country. People who had attended earlier workshops were invited to a special workshop to deepen their skills. The workshop featured solar cooking promoters Pedro Serrano of Chile and Alfredo Estevez of Argentina. Brazil also sent representatives to the conference, where promoters shared their experiences with solar technology and training, and discussed future plans. The conference also included a panel discussion on solar energy and public policy. An exhibition in the city center exposed thousands of people to many homemade, low-cost solar devices, and media coverage of the conference was good. The conference was sponsored by CEUTA and a host of governmental and non-governmental agencies. Contact: Juan José Oña, Calle Paes, 224, C.P. 12100 Montevideo, Uruguay. E-mail:


Engineer Rodolfo Carrillo reports that solar box cookers are a great success in the plains of Venezuela. Cooperativa Wayne, R.L. developed a box-type solar cooker using aluminum obtained locally at low prices. The cooperative keeps track of every family that obtains a cooker, so that follow-up services can be provided. "The people that have gotten solar cookers are using them in an excellent manner," says Carrillo. People, mostly peasants, build their own cookers in the program and learn to both cook meals and pasteurize water with solar energy. The work of Cooperativa Wayne, R.L. has been covered by local and national newspapers. Other cooperatives have been in touch, seeking to spread solar cooking to their constituents. Contact: Ing. Rodolfo Carrillo. E-mail:



Deepak (left) and Shirin Gadhia

Deepak and Shirin Gadhia, of Gadhia Solar Energy Systems Pvt. Ltd., were awarded the "Business Leadership Award 2005 for Solar Thermal" at the annual International Congress on Renewable Energy (ICORE) in Hyderabad last February. The award was received from the Solar Energy Society of India (SESI), a member of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES). "Like all pioneering work, initially the path had been a slow, up-hill process," said the Gadhias. "But now, due to ever increasing energy costs and environmental catastrophes like global warming, it makes mankind realize that clean, renewable, sustainable technologies are the best possible option." Upon winning the award, the Gadhias acknowledged Dr. Dieter Seifert and Wolfgang Scheffler, whose solar concentrator cooking technologies are promoted by Gadhia Solar. Contact: Gadhia Solar Energy Systems Pvt. Ltd., 86, Old GIDC Gundlav, Valsad - 396035, Gujarat, India. Tel: +0091-2632-222423, e-mail:

Solar Alternatives and Associated Programmes (SAAP) is a nonprofit, charitable society committed to environmental protection and empowerment of the downtrodden through solar energy applications, particularly solar thermal technologies. Run by the Jesuits, and led by Fr. M.M. Mathew, SAAP conducts research, development, fabrication and installation of a variety of solar devices, including household solar cookers, community solar cookers, solar steam cooking systems, and solar dryers. They have even developed a solar chapatti cooker. Many of SAAP's devices rely on solar concentrator technologies developed by Dr. Dieter Seifert and Wolfgang Scheffler, and the Solar Bruecke organization ( SAAP empowers socially and economically depressed groups through employment opportunities as fabricators, as well as vocational training programs affiliated with the National Institute of Open Schools. Contact: Solar Alternatives and Associated Programmes, St. Mary's Church Compound, Phulwari Sharif P.O., Patna - 801 505, Bihar, India. Tel: 0621-2555787, e-mail:, Web:


  The Renewable Energy Bureau (REB), a collaboration between the King Abdullah Design and Development Bureau and the University of Jordan, developed a box-type solar cooker for use in Jordan. The cooker was designed to meet several requirements: it had to be simple and safe to assemble, install and operate; it had to be economical yet durable; and it had to be efficient enough to cook 15 kilograms of meat in a few hours. The cooker has three panes of glazing, each separated by 6mm air spaces. The innermost pane is low-emissive, reducing heat loss from the cooking chamber. The glazing is angled at 30° with respect to the ground, maximizing efficiency at Jordan's latitude. Three stainless steel reflectors - two stationary and one adjustable - increase light reaching the cooking chamber. The inside of the cooking chamber is aluminum, while the external walls of the cooker are galvanized steel. The cooker is insulated with a type of rock wool used in conventional gas ovens. REB has also undertaken an off-the-grid guest house project, and solar cookers are expected to play a significant role in meeting its energy needs. Contact: Mohammed Al taani, P.O. Box 1835, Irbed, Jordan. E-mail:



Miguel Ángel Soria reports that he gave a workshop for students at a school in Castellolí, a small town in the province of Barcelona. He showed a solar cooking video, demonstrated solar cookers, and had the students build scale models. They experimented with the full-sized cooker to bake sweet pastries, though inclement weather postponed the baking. Contact: Miguel Ángel Soria. E-mail:


Conference delegates form international association

This past July, at the first international solar cookers conference in six years, 200 experts and advocates met at the Palacio de Exposiciones y Congresos in Granada, Spain to celebrate progress, share ideas, and begin collaborations designed to increase awareness and access to solar cookers. Seventy-seven presenters described solar cooking, pasteurizing and food processing programs in 32 countries. Solar Cookers International (SCI) co-sponsored the conference, which was hosted by the incomparable staff and volunteers of Terra Foundation from Barcelona, Spain. The conference was made possible by generous support from others, including The Good Works Institute (USA), Consorcio Parque de las Ciencias, and Junta de Andalucia. To unite and amplify their voice, participants created a new international association under the umbrella of SCI, with an international volunteer steering committee. Two resolutions were drafted and approved - one highlighting the many health benefits and uses of solar cookers, and the other urging revision of recent international policy changes to assure that solar cooker programs can participate in international carbon emissions treaties. (The resolutions are on the Internet at More resolutions are expected in the future. Solar cooker promoters wishing to join the new association and support its efforts can become founding members by contributing $12.50 (10 Euros) by credit card through SCI's Web site ( by 31 December 2006. For more information, e-mail Conference participants initiated several regional networks. Nepalese participants will host an Asian region meeting in April 2007. Latin American participants, joined by Portugal and Spain, will create an information exchange system on the Internet, and will revive RECOSOL (Red Cocina Solar), an earlier network led by Prof. Pedro Serrano in Chile. African and European/non-Latin western hemisphere participants also planned future actions.

Regional and topical workgroups outlined future actions
and strategies

Collective actions were outlined by clusters of experts in the following sectors: education/youth, health, business, humanitarian aid, advocacy, technology, and food processing. Common themes included broader education of policy makers, and increased access to current developments through the Solar Cooker Archive ( and other Web sites. The Solar Cooker Review will report updates from these clusters in future editions. One participant remarked, "We came together as individual shooting stars, and we have organized ourselves into a galaxy!"

Left to right: Patrick Widner (Executive Director,
Solar Cookers International), Marta Pahissa (Director,
2006 international solar cookers conference), Wolfgang
Palz (Chairman, World Council for Renewable Energy),
and Jordi Miralles (President, Terra Foundation)

Three days of presentations and discussions were followed by a large solar cooking demonstration at Granada's Parque de las Ciencias museum. Dozens of devices, from simple panel-type solar cookers to complex concentrating solar cookers, were on display. Solar-cooked and/or dried foods were available for sampling throughout the day.

Dozens of solar cooking and pasteurizing devices on display

The conference concluded with a visit to Plataforma Solar de Almería, Europe's largest center for concentrating solar technologies. Perhaps the most valuable outcome of SCI's fourth international conference is synergy. May it grow by leaps and bounds.




SCI to receive world renewable energy award

Solar Cookers International (SCI) will be honored at the IX World Renewable Energy Congress (WREC) for its pioneering work promoting solar cookers in Africa. "You have been selected for this award because of your dedication to promoting renewable energy in Africa," wrote Scott Haapala, award committee program officer, in notifying SCI of the award. "Helping the people of Africa move away from a dependence on firewood towards using renewable energy is helping to protect their environment and increasing the quality of women's lives." "We are honored and happy for the chance to show such a distinguished world audience what solar cooking means for the planet," said Bev Blum, an SCI founder and former director. "We developed the world's lowest-cost mass-produced solar cooker, and low-tech tools that allow African women to solar pasteurize their children's drinking water and milk. During 10 years of field work in Africa, we developed teaching methods that emphasize women teaching women and refugees teaching refugees." The WREC is organized by the World Renewable Energy Network (WREN) and sponsored by the European Union. WREN is comprised of 168 member countries and is affiliated with the United Nations. The WREC awards were established in 1998 as a way to recognize outstanding achievement and vision in the global renewable energy sector. Award recipients benefit from extensive media coverage, wide exposure in the exhibition and enhanced peer recognition. The award will be presented this month in Florence, Italy. More information is available on the congress Web site:

Many new beginnings

By Bev Blum, retiring SCI executive director

Solar cooking is spreading in Kenya to two new areas - Kadibo, near Kisumu, and Kajiado, near Nairobi - through the efforts of Kenyan women trainers and entrepreneurs. Each month more Kenyan families are able to solar cook and pasteurize, improving their health, economics, and environments.

Darfur refugees in Chad - 550 families so far - now have safe, clean solar cookers, sparing them the risks of violence when they compete with local inhabitants for scarce firewood resources. Thanks to Dutch NGO KoZon Foundation, and generous U.S. donors including Jewish World Watch and several individuals from Visalia, California, a workshop has been built in Iridimi refugee camp where 21 refugees now assemble solar cookers. Over 70 refugee women teach solar cooking and distribute solar cookers in the camp.

Kajiado Masai women are quickly becoming practiced
solar cooks

Our shared goal is to cover the cost of 6,000 solar cookers and the necessary training and follow-up services to meet the needs of all refugees in the camp. (See A little good news for Darfur refugees in Chad.) The first international solar cooker conference in six years has just concluded, and a good cross-section of many hundreds of solar cooking/pasteurizing promoters worldwide shared their latest progress. From the world's simplest solar cookers (CooKits), now independently produced in 25 countries, to the world's largest solar cookers (Scheffler institutional cookers), providing thousands of meals daily in schools, hospitals and temples across India and beyond, there are exciting projects across the globe. After 20 years as a solar cook and 19 years working (on and off) with SCI, I've retired (again) as of June 30. An excellent new executive director, Patrick Widner, is excited to join SCI. He is already a solar cooking enthusiast and promoter, and an experienced nonprofit director, bringing a wide range of skills and experience to SCI. Patrick and I worked closely together throughout June, making for a smooth transition. Another long-time SCI staff member, Resources Development Director Virginia Callaghan, is leaving. Donations to SCI increased greatly with her leadership as SCI's board of directors learned to effectively nurture SCI's best donors. Virginia had a special flair for organizing joyous celebrations such as New York Friend-raisers and Sacramento's annual Shine On! gathering.

The early SCI slogan SOLAR COOKING - GOOD FOR US, GOOD FOR THE PLANET is as true as ever. I am deeply grateful to have had the vast privilege of working with hundreds of world citizens from far corners of the world to spread solar cooking to benefit people's health, economics, and environments. They and you, our supporters, are stars brightening the future. Thanks to you it's happening.


A little good news for Darfur refugees in Chad

By Pascale Dennery, SCI technical assistance director

Solar Cookers International (SCI) has partnered with KoZon Foundation, a Dutch charitable group, to assist Darfur refugees living in Chad. In 2004, KoZon volunteer Derk Rijks trained fifteen women in the capital, N'Djamena. He returned in early 2005, after getting approval from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), to start a solar cooker demonstration project at Iridimi camp, one of the camps hosting Darfur refugees. Marie-Rose Néloum, one of the previously trained women, took the plight of the refugees to heart and joined Rijks to train refugee women to use solar CooKits and teach others, starting in early 2005.

An early 2005 solar cooker demonstration in Iridimi

Women responded very enthusiastically and those who learned to solar cook fulfilled their promise to teach others. CooKits were soon assembled on-site by refugee women, who earn an income through this activity. A production workshop was completed in early 2006. The workshop is located in a neutral zone of the camp, close to the offices of the camp administrator, CARE. Refugee women from each of the camp's ten zones take turns training new groups of five to six people. The refugee women at Iridimi camp, as well as head trainer Néloum and two other staff, have persevered in promoting solar cooking even as the security situation has grown increasingly unstable since April 2006.




As of July 2006 Iridimi camp had:

  • 32 certified solar cooking trainers
  • 21 CooKit assemblers
  • 566 trained families
  • 1200 CooKits distributed, two to four per tent

Fifty-four women were interviewed in July 2006. Thirty-nine of them solar cook every day; twelve solar cook five to six days a week; and three solar cook two to four days a week. To minimize their reliance on firewood, many families would like to maximize use of all their CooKits. However, about a quarter of the families have sold one or more of their cooking pots in exchange for precious food.

Solar tea is prepared after meals

SCI and KoZon are working together to provide supplies to make CooKits, training, monitoring and accountability to brighten the lives of Darfur refugees at Iridimi camp in Chad. Groups and organizations such as the Darfur Assistance Project and Jewish World Watch, both based in southern California (USA), and many individuals have donated to SCI in support of this project. Additional logistical and communications support from UNHCR and CARE is invaluable in continuing project operations. Barring significant disruptions, each Iridimi camp household will have two or more CooKits by early 2007.




Shine On! 2006

Solar Cookers International (SCI) cordially invites you to be our guest at Shine On! 2006. Come, bring a friend or two, and share in the celebration as we highlight SCI's achievements and continued efforts to spread this humanitarian solution for the benefit of people and planet.

Wednesday evening, September 13 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The Sacramento Zoo Kampala Center 3930 West Land Park Drive Sacramento, California

Drinks, light refreshments and solar-cooked desserts will be served. For more information, or to volunteer, contact Yolanda Torrecillas by telephone: (916) 455-4499, or by e-mail:



Learning together

By Becca Arnold, independent solar cooker promoter

I arranged to teach solar cooking to a group of women (and one man) in Agua Prieta, a Mexican colonia just across the border from Douglas, Arizona, USA. I'm a seasoned solar cook with a decade of experience. Years ago, however, I pitched aside my hand-made solar box cooker and my solar CooKit, opting instead for a pricier, higher performance model. With my typical U.S. American lifestyle, I wanted something that cooked faster. I figured I'd have several weekends to refresh my skills with simple solar cookers and remember details I'd long since forgotten. I hadn't counted on April and May being cloudy. (They were.) So, I arrived at DouglaPrieta Trabajan community center toting three CooKits, one cake mix, and no recent experience. The small group of future solar cooks arrived with anticipation and beans. And a bag of instant ramen, just in case. The first day I described solar cooking to the group, and demonstrated how to use the cookers. The second day - our cooking day - dawned bright and sunny, with all of us excited to begin. Into one CooKit went beans (the women were asked to soak the beans overnight first) and into another went the ramen. Although every solar recipe for baked goods that I've ever read says to use a lid, I've found over the years that I can bake just as well without one. This lets me check on the food without opening the cooker. So, in the third CooKit, I followed my usual procedure with cake and placed it carefully in the clear plastic bag with no lid. This would prove to be a mistake, but at the time I viewed it proudly, chatted excitedly with the others, and left to run some errands. The short version of the story is that by the end of the day no food had cooked - except the ramen, if one can count that as food. The plastic bag had fallen into the uncovered cake, which had the texture of muddy soup. The beans were still hard as rocks. As I fretted over the beans, the woman who had brought them admitted she had only soaked them an hour that morning. For me that meant the case was solved; they'd simply need to be cooked longer. But I feared that to the women it simply meant the cookers didn't work. I turned my fretting to the cake, and we all commiserated on what the problem was. Then I remembered something I had forgotten years before: lids are required when baking in simple, moderate-temperature solar cookers because they help retain heat. I explained this to the others, and they seemed to nod in polite agreement. They did not even mention that they had just spent an entire day away from their other chores, dutifully trying to learn the "miracle" of solar cooking, only to end up with a bowl of ramen and a piece of half-cooked cake. With promises from all to try again tomorrow, we parted for the evening. Driving back across the border I worried that the women would be discouraged by the unimpressive performance they had just witnessed. But the unimpressive performance was mine, not that of the cookers. I hoped the women would understand that.

Fortunately, the women returned the next morning, once again eager. In the first cooker we put the beans for their second day of cooking. In the second cooker we put a pan of cornbread (with a lid, of course). And in the third cooker we put a pot of rice. I prayed, and I suspect they did to. Returning a few hours later, I was rewarded with both good food and good cheer! Everything cooked! The cornbread rose high enough to lift the lid. The rice was moist, the beans were tender. I sighed with relief and smiled. We all ate. I slept much better that night. A few days later I returned to Aqua Prieta, wondering if the women had packed the cookers away, brushed their hands together, and told each other they were glad to get rid of that crazy American! To my delight I was greeted with big smiles and a fresh pot of beans, this time fully cooked, and with chicken so tender it almost melted in my mouth. As a side dish were tamales, just as sumptuous and tender as the beans. Delicious as the food was, it didn't compare to the dancing eyes of the women, excited to share what they had cooked with the sun. Later, as I reflected on the trip, I realized that as poorly as the first day had gone, it was in some ways a blessing. These women had discovered how to solar cook along with me; we had experimented together, we had learned together. They owned the experience as much as I. These women all have gas stoves, and therefore may not become frequent solar cooks, but their dream of passing along this knowledge to family members who cook over smoky wood fires is now possible. I don't know if this will happen, but I've planted a seed. When the time is right those seeds will sprout and grow, whether it be this year, next year, or many years from now. The timing is not mine to know. What I do know is that if there are no seeds planted, none will ever grow.

New WAPI designs explored

Two recently-developed Water Pasteurization Indicators (WAPIs) are being explored for feasibility. Like current WAPIs available through Solar Cookers International, these models contain a special wax that melts as water is pasteurized, providing a visual indicator when heated water is free from disease-causing organisms. Since water pasteurizes at temperatures well below boiling, WAPIs save time when solar pasteurizing, and save fuel when using traditional fuels.

End plugs are hammered in,
eliminating the melting step
The assembled WAPI, strung with
fishing line and washers
WAPI capsule mounted in the spring An inserted rod allows for adjustable WAPI
 capsule height

The first prototype, from current WAPI makers North Star Devices, is similar in design to current WAPIs in that it is comprised of a wax-filled polycarbonate tube strung with a fishing line and held low in the water with a washer. The current WAPI, however, requires that the ends of the tube be melted and pinched - which can be a difficult and slow process - while the new design does not require any heating. Instead, tight-fitting plugs, pre-drilled for fishing line, are hammered in to each end of the tube, sealing in the wax.

The second prototype was designed by a group of students at Ohio State University (USA) using wax-filled glass capsules from Solar Solutions, makers of the AquaPak solar pasteurizer. Under the direction of Prof. Dennis Guenther, these students - Arif Mohsin, Zaidi Ahmad Latiffi, Khairil Azim Khairuddin, William Hunter, Shimpei Narita, and Muhammad Yusoff Che-Lah - developed a unique spring and rod system to hold the capsule upright in the water and keep it near the bottom of the pot or jar. The middle seven coils of stainless steel spring, with an inside diameter slightly smaller than the outside diameter of the tube, firmly holds the capsule in place. The three coils on each end of the spring are bent perpendicular to the capsule in such a way that a stainless steel rod can be slid through them with a tight fit. The capsule can then be slid up or down the rod as needed.

Calling all U.S. federal employees!

Over one million U.S. federal employees participate annually in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC): the world's largest workplace giving campaign. This year federal employees have the option of supporting Solar Cookers International (SCI) with a one-time gift or recurring payroll deductions through the Aid to Africa Federation. SCI is proud to qualify for CFC's rigorous financial, accountability and governance standards. (CFC #9985.) More information is available on the Internet:


Tribute gifts have been given to Solar Cookers International by:

Robert Byrens in memory of Harriett Hope Love Sarah and Roger Colten in honor of Mary Ann Frank Lynn Gordon and David E. Simon in honor of Clinton Huey and Carolyn Chan H. & M. Louie in honor of Clinton Huey and Carolyn Chan Sarah Franko in honor of Robert Franko Targe and Joanne Lindsay in memory of Lyle Tatum Joyce E. Rasmussen in honor of Linda Hayward Susan Richards in memory of Anne Charnow Louis and Janet Shaheen in memory of Edith Wanderstock Margaret Telford in honor of Nina Lubick-Reich Lou Watson in memory of his wife, Polly Watson

Special thanks

Solar Cookers International (SCI) would like to extend a special thanks to Jan Trifiro and Laurie Lewis of the Center for Complimentary Care for several donated office items, including desks, chairs, a conference table and a photocopy machine; and to Dick Cochran, Jance Dalton and Tim Pearsall of First U.S. Community Credit Union for donation and installation of a computer server. These items have helped tremendously as we have expanded our office in Sacramento. SCI would also like to thank 9-year-old Sara Braun for her kindness and generosity. For her birthday this year she made a poster showing the benefits of solar cooker use, especially in areas where cooking fuel is scarce and waterborne illness is rampant. Then, instead of accepting birthday gifts from friends, she collected donations in support of SCI's work spreading solar cookers around the world. She raised $100! Happy birthday, Sara. You are an inspiration to us all.

Solar Cooker Review

Solar Cooker Review (“Review”) is published two or three times per year with the purpose of presenting solar cooking information from around the world. Topics include solar cooker technology, dissemination strategies, educational materials, and cultural and social adaptations. From time to time we cover related topics such as women’s issues, wood shortages, health, nutrition, air pollution, climatic changes, and the environment.

The Review is sent to those who contribute money or news about solar cooking projects. The suggested subscription price is $10/year. Single copies are sent free to select libraries and groups overseas.

We welcome reports and commentary related to solar cooking for possible inclusion. These may be edited for clarity or space. Please cite sources whenever possible. We will credit your contribution. Send to Solar Cookers International (SCI), 1919 21st Street #101, Sacramento, California 95811-6827, USA. You may also submit by fax: +1 (916) 455-4498 or e-mail:

The Review is compiled and edited by Kevin Porter, SCI’s education resources director, with assistance from other staff. Layout is graciously donated by IMPACT Publications located in Medford, Oregon, USA.

SCI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization assisting communities in using the power of the sun to cook food and pasteurize water for the benefit of people and environments. SCI is a member of InterAction. We do not sell, rent or trade names of our donors. Tax ID # 68-0153141.

The Review is available online at

This document is published on The Solar Cooking Archive at For questions or comments, contact