Science Inventory

Evaluation of performance of household solar cookers


Ebersviller, S. AND J. Jetter. Evaluation of performance of household solar cookers. SOLAR ENERGY. Elsevier Science Ltd, New York, NY, 208:166-172, (2020).


Household air pollution from solid-fuel stoves is the most significant environmental problem that affects human health worldwide. The WHO (World Health Organization) estimates that 3-4 million premature deaths annually are caused by household air pollution, mainly from emissions from cookstoves in the developing world. Additionally, solid fuel use for household energy contributes significantly to ambient black carbon, and transboundary transport of pollutants from millions of stoves in Asia affects ambient air quality in the western U.S. The EPA ORD (Office of Research and Development) is conducting research and activities to address the problem in coordination with a much larger international effort led by the Clean Cooking Alliance. This journal article provides an evaluation of the performance of solar cookers that may help displace the use of solid-fuel cookstoves and open fires. Solar energy has zero air pollutant emissions and zero fuel use, and solar technology may thereby help to mitigate associated issues including human health, climate change, unsustainable woodfuel harvesting, safety, economic development, and gender equity.


Household solar cookers were evaluated according to ASAE (American Society of Agricultural Engineers) Standard S580.1 – Testing and Reporting Solar Cooker Performance. Per ASAE S580.1, standardized cooking power at a temperature difference of 50°C between ambient air and cooking vessel water temperatures (± 95% confidence interval) was 198 (± 32) W for a parabolic-type cooker, 65 (± 12) W for a box-type cooker, and 25 (± 9) W for a panel-type cooker. ASAE S580.1 specifies standardized cooking power as a single measure of performance, and additional measures of performance, including thermal efficiency and water heating times, were evaluated. The issue of water evaporation was examined. Clarifications for ASAE S580.1 wind velocity specification are recommended. ASAE S580.1 is specified as a normative reference in the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 19867-1:2018 standard for laboratory testing of cookstoves, and a specified deviation for average wind velocity (≤1.5 m/s) is based on recommendations from this study and concurrence from other ISO working group experts.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 09/15/2020
Record Last Revised: 09/01/2020
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 349630