Kolamba Solar Cooker from Heliso.com in combination with the new wood gas stove, Solo Stove, is an idea I had some time. Finally I got the chance to try it out! I have had this idea for quite some time, but I never found any reliable energy source, until now! The Solo Stove fits neatly inside the solar cooker, and the reflector is heating both the casserole and the gasifing stove. The concept might lead to new innovations in solar and hybrid cooking. The solar heating of the gazifing Solo Stove means that more of the heat is kept in the stove, and the gas is getting hotter and ignited at even higher temperature. This is in turn will increase the effect of the stove and almost eliminate the deady smoke that kills over four million people every year.
But why use a gasifing stove, when you can use no fossil fuel at all with your solar cooker? One general answer might be to have a more complete cooking solution. In Africa where I live, multiple energy solutions are already in use.
There might also be a practical approach. Instead of spending one hour, the Kolamba Solar Cooker and Solo Stove in combination only needs about 5 minutes to get 1 liter of water to the boiling point. As the fire burns out we found that the water continues to boil with the solar cooker. The positive side is that the food gets ready almost as quickly as on gas stove, and with the solar cooker you can't burn your food. The use of fossil fuel is also reduced to a minimum. If you want to cook for 30 minutes, you can reduce cooking time with solid fuel with 25 minutes or 80%.
If you need the speed and efficiency of a gas stove, we must admit that you can't get this with a small solar cooker. But the problems is only related to the first phase of cooking, the heating process. We found that you need a lot of energy to get 1 liter of water to the boiling point, but then only a fraction of the energy is needed to keep it boiling. The Solo Stove is a clean burning stove with almost no smoke and with high temperature and efficiency. The solar cooker gives enough energy to keep several liters of liquid at the boiling point and it never burns your food. In this way you can take advantage of the sun as long as the sun is shining. Both the Solo Stove and the solar cooker is reducing the need of fossil fuel, and when used together, the need of fossil fuel is reduced with up to 90%. It is a hybrid solution with high efficiency in combination with free solar power.