solar oven for cooking without electricity

A French woman has developed a solar thermal energy collection system that allows cooking food at lower

Solar oven in Africa.  Production can reach around one hundred kilos of bread per day after a heating time of around three quarters of an hour.  (Photo by Lytefire)

It is one of the most energy-intensive household appliances. An electric oven consumes an average of 100 kW/h per year. Suffice it to say that in the context of reducing energy consumption and combating greenhouse gases, the solar oven developed in Tampere, Finland by Eva Wissenz and her small company Lytefire takes on its full significance.

The device takes the form of a 7 m2 vertical wall composed of rows of curved mirrors installed facing the sun.“It is an array of mirrors oriented in such a way as to concentrate sunlight on a focal point, explains the French woman in this case to a bread oven to create heat without electricity.”

NeoLoco, a solar bakery in Normandy.  (Photo by Lytefire)The device also allows the roasting of seeds such as peanuts. Here the temperature can reach 300 degrees. Production can reach around one hundred kilos of bread per day, after a heating time of around three quarters of an hour.

Raised in Corsica in Saint-Florent, Eva Wissenz has lived in Finland for more than 10 years, attracted by the support and loans that the Scandinavian country offers to start-ups or pilot projects. Designed for developing countries, this solar oven allows residents to use the sun’s energy for most of the year.

“In countries where we are very present, such as East Africa, the sun is 10 months a year, explains. This means no deforestation or the purchase of polluting fuels for 10 months. And there have been savings that allow us to go back to wood or coal, but only for two months.”

Solar bakery training

“We also created training on solar baking, welcomes the French which allows us, when we arrive somewhere, to train young people who don’t have a job in this activity, so that they can then create a small local solar bakery that pollutes less and that creates a little economic stability locally.”

These autonomous solar ovens, which are mainly bought by non-governmental organizations, the main customers of the Tampere-based company, also equip refugee camps. Basic, low-maintenance, with a lifespan of 16 to 19 years, 150 copies of the LyteFire solar oven are in operation worldwide.

Joan Arwa, a solar baker in Kenya.  Basic, low-maintenance, with a lifespan of 16 to 19 years, 150 copies of the solar oven are in operation worldwide.  (Photo by Lytefire)

“It’s a machine that’s always out there, says Eva Wissenz. Unlike a PV panel that will produce electricity when it breaks, you have to import more from China. Our model is to try to find people locally who will buy the license and make the tool locally.”

The device can also produce steam. The former technical director of the company, now a baker in Normandy, who bakes his bread using a solar oven, was also won over by the Frenchman’s invention. Craftsmen also produce it in France.

The company now employs six permanent staff and operates between Finland, Switzerland and Kenya. He is also a partner of the laboratory “low tech” from Grenoble, which supports people who wish to install and use a solar oven. Allow 9,000 euros for a turnkey device. As a sign that even investors believe in the future of the solar oven, the French company has just completed the first round of financing in Finland with a fundraising of two million euros.

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His company in Tampere, Finland, Lytefire

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