The Journey

 

My family took the opportunity to use the renewable energy, wind, to sail around the world in the late 1970’s. This freedom to travel from one continent to another without polluting was something I found exhilarating and inspiring.

 

Later, my mother and father embarked on a quest: to use another renewable energy, solar, to assist people they had become aware of while travelling in third world countries. Dad and his team designed a solar unit with heat pipes that could sterilise needles for re-use enabling safe vaccination of children living in remote regions and refugee camps.

 

Decades later, I was searching for a solar oven online. I came across a clip of one in use on a cruising yacht. Knowing that space on a boat is limited and that you would not carry a bulky object if it were of no use, I decided the SunCook solar oven was worth a try. Happily, the supplier was only two hours drive from where I live.

 

The oven turned out to be very effective. It is great for easy, no fuss cooking with excellent results. It is ideal for cooking anything you would ordinarily cook in the oven or boil for a long time on the stove. I use it regularly to cook meat meals, chick peas and other legumes, baked vegetables, bread and cakes and am annoyed by the amount of times I do not have anything to cook on a “good cooking day”.

 

More recently, in January 2018, anticipating retirement and interested in finding out more about the field of solar cookers, I went to the Consolfood Conference in Faro, Portugal. I met some of the international family of solar cooking researchers, designers and enthusiasts. I gained a good overview of the different technologies being researched and already available. I noted that the SunTaste cork oven, a complete remake of the SunCook, was clearly the lead design of the box ovens. Please visit SunOK's website for more information.

 

I met with designer/engineer Nuno Oliveira Martins and his SunOK team in Lisbon. I was impressed with their dedication and conscious attention to design, craftsmanship and sustainability that has led to the development of the SunTaste oven.

 

The SunTaste oven is the newest innovation from SunOK. The company did a complete remake from the square plastic insulated box to an aesthetically sleek moulded cork model. Cork, harvested sustainably and by regulation, is now the structural and insulation material in one and is a high-grade use of the cork not used by the wine industry. It looks and feels great! The mirror and internal walls are anodized aluminium. The carefully designed optics of the walls increases the heating efficiency of the oven. The elegantly hinged mirror makes for quick and easy adjustments to ensure effective reflection of sunlight into the oven.

 

So, nearly a decade after buying my first solar oven, I am launching WONSO Wonders of Nature Solar Ovens as my Science teacher’s retirement project. I think it is a fabulous vehicle for demonstrating the use of low-tech renewable energy. The amount of solar energy reaching less than one square meter on Earth is sufficient energy to cook for the entire family!

 

My brother is able to supply orders in Western Australia.

 

We have found SunOK a great company to work with. I hope these ovens will stimulate interest and further the uptake of renewable energy technologies by people who, like me, are inspired and exhilarated by the possibilities.

 

My partner (retired Physics teacher) and I have a sample of other solar cooking technologies, heat pipes, parabolic dishes and Fresnel lenses which we are happy to use in solar cooking demonstrations for school and community group visits.

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