Solar Ovens in Wales

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The Centre for Alternative Technology was delighted to receive a solar oven (also know was a parabolic cooker) as a gift from a recent visitor to the centre. Manolo Vilchez, from the social enterprise Alsol, based in Spain, fulfilled a long term goal to visit the Centre this week. He presented CAT with a solar oven produced by the organisation he works with as a gift for use as part of our educational work.

The solar oven

Paul Allen, External Relations Officer at CAT said: “It is a wonderful gift to receive and we have already seen how on this cloudy day the sun is heating the pan, even in Wales.” Alsol works across Europe in providing solar products, with a strong emphasis on co-operation and educational development.

A solar oven cooks by turning light rays from the sun into heat; the sun is the fuel source. Reflectors on the solar oven direct the light towards a dark pot, which helps to absorb the heat.

Inspired by a previous model, CAT’s new oven has been designed and manufactured entirely in Spain.  The parabolic cooker can be used to fry, bake, roast and even cook bread. The ALSOL 1.2 is a powerful machine that uses clean, renewable energy from the sun to produce up to 7 litres of  boiling water daily.

Since solar ovens do not require any fuel other than the sun, they are becoming very popular in developing nations in Asia, Africa and Europe. They are relatively inexpensive so many charitable organisations have begun to distribute them to people in areas without other options for power. Solar ovens can provide an environmentally responsible cooking solution for people all over the world.

Manolo explaining how the solar oven works
Manolo presenting the solar oven to the CAT team