I worked with general appropriate technology in Indonesia and with solar cooking specifically in Tanzania, earned an engineering doctorate studying solar cooking (U of Arizona 1996), led the development of the international voluntary methods standard (ASAE S580) Testing and Reporting Solar Cooker Performance, participate on Clean Cookstoves and Clean Cooking Solutions (ISO/TC 285), and have consulted on various solar projects around the world since 1984.
Regarding the technology, the Sport box cooker’s parts can be nested for economical shipping and assembled locally by unskilled labor. The design is light yet rugged, convenient to use, and able to hold two pots. The Sport has been around a long time and, thanks to its elegant simplicity, it has become a favorite among casual users and promulgators both.
This project has the marks of success: on the push side, costly fuel; on the pull side, motivated entrepreneurs; bridging the gap, experienced field personnel that are, and will remain, accessible to participants. I am impressed as well by the team that has been assembled including top-tier groups providing leadership, evaluation, training, and insider relationships. The 120-seat Delicias Del Sol restaurant in Villasaca, Chile is one example of successful woman's enterprise that uses solar thermal energy for smokeless food preparation; I anticipate this project will result in several more. Empowering women by powering small businesses with clean, renewable energy – what’s not to love?!