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GoSun: Portable solar oven cooks food in as little as 10 minutes

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September 16, 2013

The GoSun Stove uses parabolic mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto a glass tube and cook ...

The GoSun Stove uses parabolic mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto a glass tube and cook the contents inside, allowing it to act as a portable convection oven

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The recently unveiled GoSun Stove is a portable, tube-shaped solar oven that's billed as being powerful enough to cook a full meal, even on cloudy days. Much like the Solar Kettle, this solar cooker uses parabolic mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto a glass cylinder and cook the contents inside. But while the Solar Kettle was built for heating up beverages and boiled eggs, the GoSun Stove sports a slightly larger set of mirrors and a stainless steel tray for food, allowing it to act as a portable convection oven for baking, frying, boiling, and more.

The central cooking tube is made from borosilicate glass, which is resistant to thermal shock, and has a vacuum beneath the surface to insulate the interior. The inside of the tube is lined with copper, stainless steel, and aluminum nitrile to better absorb and conduct heat from the sun's rays. Altogether, the tube measure 2 ft (0.6 m) in length and 2.25 in (5.7 cm) in diameter, giving it enough room for 3 lbs (1.4 kg) worth of food or 53 oz (1.6 l) of liquid. A set of aluminum stands holds the stove firmly in place and can be tilted downward, making it easier to dispense coffee and other hot beverages.

Once it's been unfolded and aligned with the sun, the mirrors are designed to concentrate light on the center tube for hours as the sun moves across the sky. After taking about 10 minutes to pre-heat, the stove's cooking time depends on the type of food being prepared and the intensity of the sunlight at the moment. On a clear, sunny day, it's said to be capable of cooking six hot dogs in about ten minutes and it's still effective in cloudy conditions, taking about two hours to bake a tray of muffins. The developers claim to have recorded temperatures as high as 700°F (371°C) inside the oven, but they say it tends to cook best between 200°F (93°C) and 550°F (288°C). The stove also includes a sliding tray with a heat-resistant handle, allowing cooks to add or remove food at any time.

Aside from its tubular design, what really sets the GoSun Stove apart from most solar cookers is its portability. Both the metal stands and parabolic mirrors fold together around the glass tube to form a compact bundle just 8 in (20 cm) tall and 5 in (13 cm) wide. Without any food inside, the whole oven only weighs 3.5 lbs (1.5 kg) and can easily slip into a backpack or be carried using the stands as a handle. According to the developers, it also remains cool enough on the outside while cooking for anyone to pack it up at a moment's notice without getting burned.

Anyone interested in getting their own GoSun Stove can pre-order one by contributing US$21...

Naturally, the designers are anticipating the GoSun Stove will appeal to campers, as well as anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors. They also hope it will help the environment by providing a renewable alternative for developing regions of the world that mostly rely on wood fires for cooking.

The development team is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to begin mass-producing the GoSun Stove, which recently doubled its original goal of US$40,000. A pledge of $219 puts you on the list for the solar oven plus a user guide explaining how to cook different types of food, a cleaning brush, and a two-year warranty. The full retail price is expected to be $279.

Alternatively, the developers are offering a $79 model called the GoSun MINI, which is shorter than its big brother and uses a non-folding wooden frame.

The stoves are expected to begin shipping in December of this year.

For now though, check out the video below to see some of the many dishes the GoSun Stove can help prepare.

Source: GoSun Stove, Kickstarter

About the Author
Jonathan Fincher Jonathan grew up in Norway, China, and Trinidad before graduating film school and becoming an online writer covering green technology, history and design, as well as contributing to video game news sites like Filefront and 1Up. He currently resides in Texas, where his passions include video games, comics, and boring people who don't want to talk about either of those things.   All articles by Jonathan Fincher
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14 Comments

I think it is really cool and very green. I can see it being used where there might be a power outage due to a storm and/or power lines being damaged. Being portable, it would be great for camping.

BigWarpGuy
16th September, 2013 @ 06:20 am PDT

Price price price

Thats the key for developing nations ....Gimme it for less than 200 USD, and I will buy 5 !

Atul Malhotra
16th September, 2013 @ 07:54 am PDT

How does a guy clean this, and is the tube made of glass ? looks like it's custom built to cook a snake, a great idea for third world countries. Throw another snake on the barbie mate.

Jay Finke
16th September, 2013 @ 09:53 am PDT

@ Atul: the company gives away one over for each five purchased and has a plan to work with developing countries.

I own a Solar oven (the original Sunoven) but will probably buy this one for backpacking. It also works to easily make water safe to drink.

moreover
16th September, 2013 @ 10:03 am PDT

How about using it to run a Sterling engine and generate electricity?

Bruce Crosby
16th September, 2013 @ 10:29 am PDT

I have a Solar Flare: Parabolic Cooking System, cost, $70. It doesn't cook much (a quart) or fast (2-4 hours) or in cloudy weather. It blows away easily and must be anchored, which is a bother. It requires disassembly for mobile use.

I wish I had waited for the GoSun Stove and paid the extra $150.

Don Duncan
16th September, 2013 @ 02:47 pm PDT

@ Jay,

If snake is not on your menu, try a foot long hotdog, salamander (the amphibian) or a baguette.

thk
16th September, 2013 @ 04:14 pm PDT

Looks neat, until you get a few kms into the wilderness with no backup gas stove - left it in the pickup - and get a few very cloudy days! "I thought I heard you say this would be fun!!!!" "Yes dear" "No dear"

The Skud
16th September, 2013 @ 07:25 pm PDT

At that price it should include a solar-powered rotisserie motor driving the cooking tube (fully sealed off so it will spin - slowly - without spilling...) Then, make it large enough diameter to slide in a pork loin (or a healthy section of Anaconda for Jay Finke above) and it'll roast up juicier than anything! Slap on some barbeque sauce, with pickles & onions on the side, and YUM! :-)

MzunguMkubwa
17th September, 2013 @ 06:21 am PDT

@ thk - MzunguMkubwa

I don't see myself cooking on one of these anytime soon, if ever ! and I enjoy my T-bone's cooked over coals with oak or mesquite.

I hear the baby turtles have been plentiful at the beach this year, maybe they would be good on this type of grill, or manatee ?

Jay Finke
17th September, 2013 @ 07:19 am PDT

I get real suspicious when someone claims they can usefully concentrate diffuse light.

Slowburn
17th September, 2013 @ 08:29 am PDT

@ Slowburn,

The device is based off the solar vacuum tube technology commonly used in the temperate climate countries like Europe and China, where it is most effective even on days without direct sunlight.

thk
17th September, 2013 @ 08:10 pm PDT

Thin walled evacuated Glass tubes are anything but portable due to their extremely fragile nature. Good luck backpacking about with one of these cookers

offthegrid
18th September, 2013 @ 09:09 am PDT

Nice toy for at home, but pointless camping since you'd require a second oven for wind or rain. Wouldn't like to have to clean the glass tube with a hangover either

Ozuzi
19th September, 2013 @ 10:03 pm PDT
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