During my 4 years as an undergraduate student at Cornell University, I participated on a project team that designs and tests solar ovens for Las Mujeres Solares de Totogalpa in Nicaragua. At Cornell, we had access to Solid Works modeling, numerous construction materials, and test equipment, which made it easier for us to test various oven designs than for the group in Nicaragua. In Nicaragua, the women in the solar oven cooperative provided a willing set of researchers for further field tests and design development.
One sub-project focused on designing a prefabricatable oven that aimed to minimize the oven weight and fragility so it could be shipped via postal service to customers of carried up the side of a mountain on a llama. The team's innovations included removing much of the wooden frame and trying a plastic top instead of double pane glass, since it is difficult to ship glass.
Here is a video describing Las Mujeres Solares and the Cornell collaboration.
|A Solid Works rendering of the prefabricatable oven we designed|
|Traditional box oven used by Las Mujeres Solares|