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04/13/2009 10:05 AM     print story email story  

Solar Oven Wins Climate Change Award News

A solar-powered cooker, made for $6 from two cardboard boxes, won a $75,000 award offered for ideas that can combat global climate change.

Called the Kyoto Box, the device is meant to be used by the billions of people worldwide who rely on wood stoves for cooking and for sterilizing water.

The Kyoto Box consists of a black inner cardboard box and a silver foil-covered outer box that concentrate enough heat to cook food and boil water.

The design took the top prize in the FT Climate Change Challenge promoted by the Financial Times, Hewlett-Packard and Forum from the Future.

"We're saving lives and saving trees," the Kyoto Box's developer Jon Boehmer, a Norwegian based in Kenya, said in a statement.

Boehmer said he would carry out trials in 10 countries, including South Africa, India and Indonesia, before applying for carbon credits to support dissemination of the solar cooker.

Other finalists included an indoor cooling system that uses evaporative ceiling tiles, a large-scale microwave for the production of biochar, a garlic-based feed additive to reduce methane emissions from livestock and an aerodynamic wheel cover for long-haul trucks.

Read more about the Finalists at the link below.



Reader Comments (1)

Solar Cooking Advocate

Date Posted:
04/13/09 02:14 AM

Those of us who have worked for years to promote awareness of solar cooking are thrilled at the prize won by Jon Bohmer for his solar cooker. The publicity it has generated will help raise the profile of this simple, powerful and renewable technology. It is however, not a ‘new invention’. Here is a page from the Solar Cooking archive with detailed instructions for the basic design that Mr. Bohmer used. The cardboard solar box cooker, for which Mr. Bohmer won $75,000 from the FT Climate Change Challenge is a variation on one of the many designs that have been freely available to the public for years on Solar Cookers International’s archive. The archive website contains extensive data on the design, construction, dissemination and international use of solar cookers to reduce carbon emissions and deforestation. After logging on to the SCI web archive, users can click on build a solar cooker. There they will find detailed plans for a variety of cardboard, wood, metal and plastic solar box cookers, solar panel cookers and solar parabolic cookers. Solar cooker advocates like Mr. Bohmer who have been inspired by the many designs currently available often come up with new variations and post them to our website where they can be shared with the rest of the world. The solar box cooker is the oldest type of solar cooker. It was first widely promoted by two American women who were among the founders of SCI in 1988. As you can see from this newsletter, our organization was initially know as Solar Box Cookers International. Another of SCI’s founders, Robert Metcalf has been traveling the world for decades teaching people how to build and use solar cookers not only for cooking but also for solar water pasteurization. When refugee populations in Africa began expanding in the early 1990s and access to cooking fuel and clean water became a serious problem for these people, a more portable version of the cardboard box solar cooker was developed by Roger Bernard. Almost all solar cooker projects are currently funded by small non-profits. There is little to no government funding available. And yet many governments continue to subsidize the purchase of bottled cooking gas by up to 50% and the charcoal trade is destroying the forests of Africa and south Asia. This must change. The largest solar cooker project currently underway is in three Darfur refugee camps in Chad. The women in those camps have manufactured and distributed more than 30,000 cardboard and aluminum foil Cookits. Trips outside the camp to gather firewood have been reduced by 86%.

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