Dr Ashok Kundapur, International Alternate Energy Trust, Kalashree, Udupi- 576 102, India, Email :

( This paper was read at International solar cooker Conference, at Granada, Spain in June 2007. Co author of this paper is Dr   Sudhir C V., Department of Mechanical

         Engineering, Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal, 576 119India e-mail: )


New  protocol to test solar cooker is being  proponed here. The earlier standard measures only the cooking capacity. There is a need to look into other important parameters of the cooker such as its stagnation capacity, cost per watts delivered, weight of the cooker, ease of handling and aesthetics. The proposal also aims at standardization of reporting the test results so that it can be easily understood by not so literates who wishes to use one.  

Keywords: Solar Cooker Tests, Exergy,  Efficiency, Standardization in Tests and Reporting.


Solar Cookers have a long history dating back almost to 18th century when Nicholas-de-Saussure built first ever Solar Box Cooker. Today there are about 60 major designs and more than 100 of variations Kundapur(1) . However, the Solar cooking has not caught the imagination of the people, except in places where shortage of conventional fuel like fire wood and the like is acute, (Solar

Solar Cookers are meant to be used by, in most cases not so well educated persons, and hence testing of solar cookers and presentation of results have to be  looked into more carefully.

The solar cookers have been subjected to several types of tests. Some of the tests conducted earlier has been summarized by Bowman(3).Later German Appropriate Technology Group conducted tests on many more popular solar cookers(4).  Mullik et al., presented a set of tests procedures and equations  to  asses the Thermal performance of the Solar cookers especially the box type cookers(5). Many more solar cooker stalwarts proposed several variation of the tests. In the recent past,  Petela(6) has taken into account exergy aspects. However, it was in the year 2000 that Funk found a need to evolve a International Standard for Testing Solar cookers. The recommendations were later adopted by United States Agricultural Engineers as ASAE S580.

Nandwani(8) and also Mukaro(9) have conducted tests on solar cookers and have reported the thermal performance in terms of percentage efficiency. While ElSebaii et al,(10)  Florida Solar Energy Center FSEC(11) and Steven Jones et al.(12) have conducted tests as per ASAE S580 for Box type or Panel type of cookers.  But it is very difficult to have a comparative data  as many other popular type of cookers, like Parabolic,  have not been subjected to standard tests and hence there is an urgent need to evolve a comprehensive test.