Development of the AMSI Solar Cooker
The cooker used and promoted by the AMSI is based on the solar cooker EG SOLAR SK14 developed by the Foreign Aid Group Solar Cooker of the State Technical College Altoetting e.V.in Germany. This Non-profit organization has the aim to spread the idea of solar cooking all over the world by selling model cookers, distributing detailed construction plans and mirror material if not available in the country.
This idea was brought by the AWTI lecturer Mr. Ernest Willand from Germany and was encouraged and supported by the environmental club of the Arba Minch Water Technology Institute (AWTI) and the head of the AWTI's metal workshop leader Mr. Muise Gipo. After half a year of practical co-operation between Mr. Muise and Mr. Willand a technique had been developed to build the solar cookers using only simple reinforcement bars, which are readily available in Arba Minch. The developed technique uses simple construction aids made from plate wood to guarantee a high accuracy and quality of the cookers and using only few standard tools available in any metal workshop in Arba Minch. With the plate-wood models, which can easily be copied as well, any good metal worker who is able to do simple welding work is able to produce cookers after only one day of training.
While one model cooker imported from Germany costs 2000.- Birr (340 US$). The total material cost used for one AMSI cooker is less than 150.- Birr (25 US$) for local material and about 300.- Birr (50 US$) for the mirror material (aluminum sheets).
The aluminum mirror material for the AMSI cooker up to now has to be imported from Germany, as aluminum is not produced in Ethiopia. The mirror material for one solar cooker has a package size of 5 X 15 X 50 cm and a weight of 3 kg. The panels needed for one cooker are precisely prefabricated and can be applied without any extra work.
Why a Parabolic Mirror Solar Cooker?
Compared to Box-Type solar cookers Parabolic Cookers are more expensive and more difficult to build. But they have the big advantage to reach a cooking temperature in the focal area which allows to cook nearly in the same way as on open fire. The traditional Ethiopian dishes (Injerra and Wot) are not possible without frying onions, spices and meat which is possible only at high temperatures. Preparing fresh roasted coffee is part of a good meal. So the parabolic cooker which comes close to the use of open fire is most appropriate to the cooking traditions. In Arba Minch there are only in the short rainy season some clouds sky, so there is no need to use diffuse light as well. The high efficiency of the parabolic cooker under these conditions makes it even possible to share one cooker between several families.
All Prices and Birr-Value based on 1998