Solar Food Steamer

Solar steamers efficiently steam food and produce distilled and pasteurized water.
Solar steamers efficiently steam food and produce distilled and pasteurized water.

“As the solar steamer is using steam as heat transfer medium, it is an indirect cooking system. This allows the design of a split system where the thermal solar collector can be placed at some distance (e.g. on the roof) apart from the place of cooking (e.g. in the kitchen). The cook is not exposed to the sunshine and can use the steam at whatever height or location is convenient and culturally acceptable.
Solar food steamer
Solar food steamer

This makes it a very convenient cooker for large quantities of food. Using simple stackable steaming pots several dishes can be cooked simultaneously. The steaming process is very similar to traditional steaming processes and should easily find cultural acceptance.

The solar generated steam can also be used to heat large pots of stew or soup by guiding the steam directly into the liquid were it condenses and releases the heat of condensation. This leads to a gentle agitation of the food without burning it.

As can be seen from the sketch above the basic concept is very simple. The solar collector is filled with water. Because of the high efficiency and the good insulation of the evacuated glass tubes the water will start boiling when exposed to sunshine. The steam will be guided to the food steamer using a flexible, steam resistant hose.

The solar steamer can produce high quality distilled water a day (small quantities), pastuerized water (large quantities) from the condensed steam. Solar steam can also be used for sterilization and producing energy.

The Sun2Steam collector can produce steam to cook for about 30 people a day. There is also the cultural advantage that people in Vanuatu don’t mind eating cold food once it has been cooked, so cooking during the day and eating in the evening is no problem.”

More at the source: Solar Steamers
Solar Food Steamer.doc

Special thanks to Dr. Jo Muller for this tip.

9 thoughts on “Solar Food Steamer”

  1. Hi I just detected this website. I am Jo and have created this cooker. Unfortunately my website does not work anymore because I gave it up when I closed the company when I retired.
    I can still help and answer questions. I will have an eye on this blog from now on.

    In regard to the question from Owen: Scaling is not much of a problem. I checked after half a year and there was some powdery scaling. But it was loose and not attached to the glass. Just putting the tubes upside down and draining them did the trick.
    This could be easily implemented by having a swivel point at the holding frame.

  2. We are looking for camping food steam booklets that can cook for 5 1000 men and mobile please if you can come up with the design the same can boil rice,cook beans,meat.and milliemeal not massive in short mobile kitchen for camping suply to armay.

  3. I really like this application. I think this could be a major improvement for solar cooking in a lot of areas.

    Here in Mexico, people use the evacuated tubes for heating water, so it would be pretty easy to make one for creating steam.

    I would like to see a system that recycles the steam water to have a closed loop. If you did this, you could increase the efficiency a lot by heating domestic water and cooking food at the same time.

  4. Hopefully Jo is still reading this blog after posting about this yesterday.

    If so, I have a question.

    How does the system prevent scaling or mineral build up in the tubes over time?

  5. This is a prime example of appropriate technology. It’s low tech, simple, easy to use and affordable. You quickly recoup your investment and then you can cook for free for years and years. I particularly like the stacking pots so you can cook multiple dishes at once. How convenient! And no heart stopping oils or stirring.


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