Posted by: Lister | April 14, 2009

Jon Bohmer’s Solar Oven

From CNN:

The ingeniously simple design uses two cardboard boxes, one inside the other, and an acrylic cover that lets in the sun’s rays and traps them.

Black paint on the inner box, and silver foil on the outer one, help concentrate the heat. The trapped rays make the inside hot enough to cook casseroles, bake bread and boil water.

What the box also does is eliminate the need in developing countries for rural residents to cut down trees for firewood. About 3 billion people around the world do so, adding to deforestation and, in turn, global warming.

By allowing users to boil water, the simple device could also potentially save the millions of children who die from drinking unclean water.

Bohmer’s invention on Thursday won the FT Climate Change Challenge, which sought to find and publicize the most innovative and practical solution to climate change.

Great invention. But not knew, according to the rest of the CNN article:

Two American women, Barbara Kerr and Sherry Cole, were the solar box cooker’s first serious promoters in the 1970s. They and others joined forces to create the non-profit Solar Cookers International — originally called Solar Box Cookers International — in 1987.

Further, the organization’s executive director, Patrick Widner, said that the plans for a solar box cooker were found in a book published by the Peace Corps in the 1960s.

“We are pleased that Mr. Bohmer has taken up the cause and interest of the 95 member organizations and 160 individuals of the Solar Cookers Worldwide Network,” Widner said. “It would be a pleasure to work with Mr. Bohmer in Kenya where we have been promoting the use of solar cookers for ten years.”

Via the Animus at JREF, where Ben Burch links to some plans to make your own oven. Might try it as an alternative to a BBQ.

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