A sun oven is a fantastic low-cost, ecologically friendly alternative to cooking with wood, gas, charcoal, and other fuels that dump loads of carbon into the atmosphere. But how do you get started?
This article features a comprehensive overview of the sun oven, its health benefits, how the technology works, and the best places to buy a sun oven.
Health Benefits of a Sun Oven
The climate is changing rapidly each day with new theories about global warming, with stark evidence of our Earth heating up. In recent years, every industry has taken part in "going green" efforts by way of fuel efficient cars, new energy saving light bulbs, and reusable shopping bags. Energy efficiency is now the forefront to many business models. Solar power is being utilized as a clean fuel source for electronics, cars, homes, and on large-scale buildings. Not only is this a great economic source, but solar power is now being utilized for cooking. Having hundreds of benefits for the environment, solar cooking is also a healthier alternative to traditional methods. Here's why a sun ovenhelps you eat healthier.
Low Carbon Emissions
Most traditional cooking methods such as camp fires or wood burning stoves give off smoke that can cause pollution to the atmosphere. Many cultures throughout the world still use these types of stoves indoors. Health issues are caused by inhaling harmful smoke and fumes, often leading to respiratory disease. The only pollution given off by the GoSun solar cooker is during manufacturing. Some pollution is emitted during this process, but it continues to be improved to cut down on waste and environmental pollutants overall. The overall carbon footprint of each solar cooker becomes negative, after cooking just a few meals.
No Harmful Chemicals
A sun oven, unlike a campfire, doesn't use smoke. Therefore it's better for the environment and your lungs. With traditional campfire cooking methods, carcinogens are carried in the smoke from the fire; which exposes your food, eyes, and lungs to harmful chemicals.
On the other hand, indoor cooking with a microwave expose your food and body to dangerous radio waves, and actually alters the molecular state of your food
- causing all types of health issues! By cooking with solar energy you take out the harmful chemicals and use only the natural energy from the sun, the most pure heat source of all.
For those cultures that are used to traditional cooking methods, fuel is required for their fires. This means that many thousands of trees are cut down each year in order to fuel their most precious resource for food. By using a solar cooker, there is no more need for cutting down trees, which lead to mass deforestation and ecosystem loss. The solar cooker diminishes this needs and also frees up time for other activities because gathering firewood is no longer such a necessary time consuming task! Gathering firewood can also be a very dangerous task. By eliminating this need, it not only frees up time for other activities, but keeps the gathering teams out of harms way.
Because of the lower temperatures that a solar cooker can cook food, the natural nutrients of the food are preserved
. Hours of cooking are available for the sun oven, which means that food can be held within the container, with its juices and flavors. No need for all the salt and unhealthy sauces, because your food's delicious flavors are in tact!
Disinfecting & Pasteurizing Methods
Because solar cooking is versatile, we want to mention other health benefits that do not include food. Water is one of the most precious resources that all humans need, but many are without clean water sources. By using a solar cooker to pasteurize water, this can provide many people with safe water to drink and use in cooking. Also, water and sanitation methods can be utilized within the solar cooker to disinfect utensils and medical supplies.
Many countries are without clean water or quality hospital systems, so this method could mean life or death. A solar cooker can provide people in developing areas with the best fuel resource, and also double as their sanitation and pasteurization resource. Now they are more likely to live healthier lifestyles, simply by harnessing the energy of the sun.
The Science of the Sun Oven: Facts About the Sun
We all know that the Sun is powerful, but do we truly comprehend just how powerful it is? Here are some of the most mind-blowing facts about the sun and how it makes a sun oven work.
In terms of the solar system, our star, the sun, is categorized as a moderate sized star about half way through it’s life cycle. The Sun’s gravitational force holds the planets within our solar system and within it’s orbit. On Earth, we benefit from the life-giving energy it emits. The sheer power that the sun radiates is incredible; here are some other facts about the sun to help us better understand its true power.
Age: 4.6 Billion Years
Type: Yellow Dwarf
Diameter: 1,392,684 km
Mass: 1,989,100,000,000,000,000,000 Billion kg
- The sun is so large that approximately 1 Million Earth’s can fit inside of it!
- The sun is so large that it contains about 99.86% of all the mass of the entire solar system!
- You’ll need plenty of sunscreen if you’re visiting the Sun! The surface temperature is roughly 5,500 degrees Celsius (9,941 degrees Fahrenheit)! The sun’s corona, or atmosphere, is a couple million degrees hotter than that! An average summer day on earth is around 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The Sun is made up of 23% Helium, 75% Hydrogen and 2% heavier elements and consumes 4 million tons of hydrogen every second.
- Once the Sun burns out of Hydrogen fuel it will then burn helium.
- The Earth is so far from the Sun that light from the sun (traveling at the speed of light) takes approximately 8 minutes to reach Earth. So if the sun suddenly stopped shining, it would take a full 8 minutes for people on Earth to be affected!
- The Sun is approximately half way through its life of 9.2 Billion Years, based on comparable G2 stars
- Magnetic Polarity reverses every 11 years on the sun, thus its north magnetic pole becomes a south pole, and vice versa.
- To match the energy generated by the Sun one would have to detonate 100,000,000,000 tons of dynamite every second.
- A person weighing 150 pounds on Earth would weigh 4,200 pounds on the sun because the sun’s gravity is 28 times that of Earth!!
- An area of the Sun’s surface, the size of a postage stamp, shines with the power of 1,500,000 candles!
- 25.4 earth days is the average time it takes the sun to rotate on its axis
- If the Earth were the size of a quarter, the sun would be as large as a 9 foot ball and would be located a football field distance from Earth.
- 27 Million C degrees is the temperature of the core of the earth or 15 Million C degrees.
- If a drop sized matter from the core of the Sun is placed on the surface of the Earth, no living organism will survive for a distance of 150 km from that drop.
- To power the Sun with all of Earth's energy resources; coal, oil, gas, and wood would only keep the Sun burning for a few days.
- One could power 64 100 watt light bulbs with just one square centimeter of the Sun's surface.
Incredible Solar Power
When you realize the true power of the sun, it makes you realize the importance of it, given that it powers almost all of our energy sources, be it ancient fossilized sunlight in the form of hydrocarbons, current carbohydrates being created by plants and consumed by animals or wind created by temperature variation created from the sun! It really helps us understand the task at hand of moving beyond finite fossil fuels and learning how to power our world off of our current solar gain.
Sun Ovens and a Fuel-Free Frontier
A sun oven is more than a fun way to cook food. Rather, it's a conceptually different way to think about the relationship between fuel and preparing a meal. The GoSun team loves the sun oven because we love solar energy. It’s clean, bright, and free! It’s also the reason we haven’t yet frozen solid on the planet we call home. Even though solar energy is getting cheaper by the day, we’re just beginning to understand the full potential of the Sun.
That’s why we love the sun oven and are working to spread the gospel of the Fuel-Free Frontier. There’s just no other option: fossil fuels are dirty, and they’re damaging our planet, our health, and our fellow species. Hopefully one day solar energy use will be just as ubiquitous as dirty fuels are today.That day couldn’t come soon enough.
Accepting the Facts
As we move further into this century, we’re going to have to cope with the realities of climate change:
A Warming Climate
Things are just getting warmer and warmer (A Japanese research team concluded that year 2014 was the hottest on record.) With a warming climate comes melting ice caps, rising sea levels, and the death of species who can’t adapt.
It’s no longer a question that humans are causing this warming through our unrelenting release of CO2 in the atmosphere. The latest IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Report came to a consensus that humans unquestionably have altered: surface temperature on every continent (save for maybe Antarctica), the water cycle, and ocean temperatures. Yet despite all of the scientific fact surrounding anthropogenic climate change and a myriad of reports lamenting said climate change, we are still releasing carbon into the atmosphere at an alarming rate.
Our Threatened Family
Climate change is not only a threat to billions of humans, it is also a threat to the thousands of species who live on Earth with us. In the last 500 years alone, we’ve wiped a thousand species off the face of the Earth. A swath of biodiversity extremely unique and precious, gone forever.
We owe it as a species to make sure that the other species of this world live a fulfilling and safe life. Yet, it is estimated that a 33% of amphibian species, 12% of bird species, 21% of fish species, 50% of primate species, 20% of all mammal species, 68% of all plant species, and 21% of all reptile species are at risk for extinction. We must take action to ensure the safety of all species. Remember: extinction is forever.
Humans have never been good at owning their mistakes, that’s why in the face of all the facts, there are still deniers of climate change. Yet, climate change is real! It is causing us to question the way we live, the way we work, and the way we survive. You can subvert the dominant paradigm. You can make this better. Be empowered. Get a sun ovenand be a pioneer on the Fuel-Free Frontier!
Using a Sun Oven During the Winter
Which types of sun ovens are all-season solar cookers? As the weather dips in the fall, we’re often asked how exactly these stoves can cook so effectively even in the cold. To answer this and other questions, we’ve created a handy FAQ.
The all-season sun oven: How do solar vacuum tubes work?
Air is pulled out of a double-layered borosilicate glass tube and permanently sealed, forming a vacuum. This highly specialized process results in some unique properties, the most important being thermal insulation. Light can be absorbed by the internal layer of the tube and stored as heat. Without air to transfer heat from the inside of the tube to the outside, the vacuum provides near perfect insulation from the cold.
Is it really an all-season solar cooker? Can they cook during the winter?
Yes, very well in fact! The GoSun Sport has been shown to cook hot meals at temperatures below 10°F (-12°C) with no problem aside from the time required to preheat.
How much longer does the GoSun cooking technology take to cook during the winter?
Cook times during the winter may increase your cooking time by as much as 15 minutes, while the tray and tube come to temperature. The GoSun truly is an all-season solar cooker, but cook times are definitely affected by weather and sun conditions. Once this point is reached the stove cooks as quickly as a warm summer day.
Why does the GoSun cook faster on some winter days than a summer day?
There are two main reasons solar cooking during the winter can lead to faster cook times: air quality and reflection.
Air Quality: As any winter sportsman can attest to, sunburn is not exclusive to warm weather. In fact, cold mountain air holding little moisture to diffuse the light, makes for direct and intense sunlight. Put simply, the thinner the air, the stronger the power of the sunlight.
Reflection: When cooking on a snow covered slope, particularly with the low angle light of dawn and dusk, the snow often acts as a reflector, multiplying the total amount of light entering the stove. More light means faster meals.
How can I better utilize my all-season solar cooker in the winter?
Open Sparingly: Opening the stove becomes more costly as the environment becomes colder. Just set a timer and check when the recipe should be approaching completion.
Use Steam As An Indicator: To check the status of your food without opening, watch for steam. Steam rendering from the GoSun Sport typical indicates food is near completion. This is especially the case for vegetables and bread.
Store Your Stove Indoors: Skip an extended preheating cycle by simply keeping you stove inside rather than in the garage.
Stay Inside: Have a sunny window? You’re in luck! Just place your stove facing outward. It may take longer due to some window’s UV coatings… but then again you’re inside.
With GoSun, you can start cooking with the Sun year round, anywhere the Sun shines, regardless of the cold!
Our Recommended Sun Oven:
Cooking in the great outdoors is the perfect way to drink in the mild weather and make dinner at the same time, but lighter fluid and charcoal fumes don’t exactly have the most appetizing aftertaste. Not to mention the environmental impact—Americans burn enough fuel on July 4 to power over 20,000 homes. Instead of struggling to stack and light the coals, consider opting for a solar oven, like the GoSun Grill. It uses parabolic reflectors to intensify the sun’s heat, reaching a maximum temperature of 550 degrees, so it’s definitely burger-ready.