Solar Cooking Technology
Millions of africans spend a great deal of their time in the attempt to secure fuel for one of life's basic necessities - cooking. More than half of the world's population cooks with wood resulting in a host of problems from erosion to air pollution to productive time spent walking and collecting it.
Families who purchase fuel wood can spend up to 30% of their incomes on cooking fuel. Per capita wood consumption for cooking is about 1.32 tons per year. A solar cooker can save about a ton of wood per year.
Solar cooking frees people from many of the above mentioned ills. Food needs little attention while cooking, freeing up time for other activities. The less aggressive cooking does not burn the food and it tastes better. Additionally, other important problems such as water purification, air pollution and deforestation can be alleviated through solar cooking.
Solar cookers consist of a reflector to focus the suns rays to generate or trap heat. Newly developed equipment is competitive with traditional fuel alternatives such as wood or charcoal. The most affordable models can amortize themselves through fuel savings in less than two months - after which these savings can be redirected to other household needs or even savings.