Solar Cookers Advantages And Disadvantages

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Solar power is a readily available source of energy from the sun, which is clean and free. In most communities in Southern Africa wood is used as fuel, which is resulting in the decreasing of the size of the Southern African forests. This occurrence of deforestation can be reduced by using solar power as an alternative method of energy. This paper will explore the option of using Solar Cookers, which are devices that use the energy from the sun to cook and prepare food. This paper will review past experiments on solar cookers, the different types of solar cookers, its advantages and disadvantages and will take into consideration the environmental, social and cultural impact of solar cookers and will conclude…show more content…
conducted by the South African Department of Minerals and Energy and the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammernarbeit, solar cookers were accepted by the rural households, in that they were used at an equivalent rate to other cooking alternatives in the household or institution (Biermann,E. ,Grupp, M. and Palmer, R. ,1999). It was found during the field tests all the selected cookers were capable of preparing the usual dishes in the test study areas (ECSCR, 1994). It was established that in most case studies the hurdle seemed to be, for the consumer to buy a solar cooker rather than to convince them to use it. This is due to the lack of information about solar cookers amongst the people and the relatively high prices of solar cookers compared to other popular kitchen appliances (Wentzel M and Pouris A, 2007). The two main types of solar cookers are the box cooker type and the parabolic reflector type. The box cooker type was seen as relatively effective as it was made out of low cost materials such as old cardboard boxes and maximised the sun’s radiation by trapping its solar energy inside the insulated box similarly to how the greenhouse effect works (Beaumont, G., Eiloart T.,…show more content…
The disadvantage, however with the parabolic reflectors is that it only works correctly when it is able to track the sun rays thus it must be frequently turned to the direction of the sun’s rays whereas the box cooker can have a fixed position. Furthermore, the maintenance and spare parts cost were high and sometimes the availability of the spare parts were rare in parabolic reflector solar cookers (United Nations High Commission For Refugees (UNHCR), 2004), making the box cooker type a more practical and feasible option for the people of Southern Africa. Solar cooking provides a solution to the Southern African’s problem of diminishing fuel wood sources and other environmental problem associated with fuel wood demand for cooking. It was concluded that 95% of the rural population of South Africa is dependent on fuel wood for cooking (Wentzel 1996). Moreover, it was found that the overall fuel saving was 38%. Furthermore, 60 tons of wood, over 2 tons of gas and more than 2000L of paraffin were saved (GTZ and DME, 2002a). Therefore one of the major advantages of using solar cooking is the large amount of fuel wood that is saved thus decreasing deforestation. Additionally, the use of clean, free solar energy

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