Solar cookers are something of a recent phenomenon. They’ve been around for a while but as solar technology improves, better, more efficient, more portable solar cooking units come out.
A couple years ago GoSun created the GoSun Stove, and now Dr. Catlin Powers has founded One Earth Designs and created the SolSource, a parabolic solar cooker (as opposed to a solar oven, like the GoSun Stove) that has been deployed all over the world. SolSource is a solar cooker created to help developing nations and communities cook food without the risks associated with conventional fires and grills such as health risks and damage to the environment. A portable version of the SolSource called the SolSource Sport has just finished a highly successful Kickstarter campaign. The SolSource Sport is designed for a general market here in North America.
The inspiration for the SolSource came when Dr. Powers visited China, where she says half a million people die from breathing toxic cooking smoke each year. Powers was inspired to create a solar cooker, able to cook food and heat water without any harmful smoke as a byproduct.
The SolSource Sport can be shoved into a two-foot long carrying bag and weighs less than ten pounds. Heat generated by the solar cooker can reach a maximum of 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celsius). The solar cooker can function in winds up to 30 miles per hour, and in temperatures from 30-100 degrees Fahrenheit ( -1 to 37 degrees Celsius), meaning that you can cook while there is snow on the ground. The device will work even in cloudy weather, as the campaign page notes that ‘as long as you can see your shadow, SolSource Sport will work.’
The SolSource was originally designed to meet the needs of developing countries. While cooking is the device’s main function, it is also useful in sanitizing water, preparing for disasters, and living off the grid. The Kickstarter campaign ended on June 14th, and the SolSource Sport units are expected to ship this August. It is unknown when One Earth Designs will be making the SolSource Sport available for general purchase outside of the Kickstarter.