Monday, April 13, 2009

Solar Power

Other than the church services described by Jeff, Easter weekend was relatively quiet. As at home, Easter is a time to travel home to the villages and visit family, so most of our friends are out of town or spending a quiet weekend with family. Even the town has been quiet all weekend.

So I spent the weekend building solar cookers. Apparently they are easy to make from aluminum foil and cardboard. So, after getting a box from Mother's Union (from the wheelchairs donated by Rotary International this year) and finding aluminum foil in town, I pulled out my measuring tape, made a protractor, and started to try some designs. (More information at and The total cost per solar cooker was approximately $2 for foil (plus the cost of the glue and duct tape that I brought with me and the cardboard was free). I am still looking for heavy duty oven bags to help with heat retention, and you also need to have a black pot. The neat thing is that both solar cookers can fold up and can be easily stored when not in use.

Solar cookers can save on fuel costs (charcoal, wood, electric), prevent environmental degradation (wood), and decrease smoke inhalation. The down side is that it takes longer to cook (although you don't have to watch it closely because it won't burn). Also it doesn't work so well in the rain... (I am still trying to figure out how to waterproof the back of the cardboard to improve durability).

Unfortunately, I finished my solar cookers too late to try them out today. So Lillian, the Mother's Union worker, and I will have a cooking test tomorrow to see how they work! Here are the photos of the completed cookers. I am quite pleased with how they turned out.

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