Shamsi: Solar Cooking made local
A community-driven solution towards mitigating mixed-waste burning and
the excessive use of fossil-fuel and biomass
while promoting food security and local production.
Capture the sun.
Shamsi is a low-cost solar oven, built from locally available, health-safe
materials and applying low-tech mechanisms.
The designed solar oven uses direct solar radiation as a renewable
energy source for baking and slow cooking. “Shamsi” ( شمسى ) is the
Arabic adjective for sunny, sun-bathed, or from the sun.
By mere positioning into the sun, direct sunlight is captured within
the reflective oven chamber, where the heat is retained through the
insulated box walls. Shamsi reaches a record of 150°C compared to
similarly sized solar cookers on the market. Thereby, Shamsi upholds
local cooking and baking traditions, while making clean energy
accessible in rural areas. By replacing the regionally widespread habit
of burning mixed-wastes in order to fuel traditional cookers, Shamsi
significantly reduces carbon emissions. Households are at lower risk
of severe respiratory and cancerous diseases caused by smoke and fire.
One module saves a household up to 75% of building and energy costs
after the first year
Shamsi was developed and tested in close collaboration with local
communities, in multiple Southern Egyptian villages. Currently, it is
being applied and tested in Tanzania with additional food-drying
functions in collaboration with the Climate Action Network - Tanzania
research and innovation team. The Shamsi-TZ Research Activity is supported
by Schwesternschaft der Evangelischen Diakonissenanstalt - Stuttgartt.
Shamsi is built exclusively from locally available, health-safe
materials and applies simple mechanisms. Therefore, it can be easily
produced and assembled by locals. This secures gender-equal income
opportunities in Tanzania, empowering women towards self-sufficiency,
especially in rural areas.
In the current project stage, material tests in local wood- and clayworkshops
are being carried out and documented by the CAN-TZ team,
lead by Shamsi’s product designer and founder. For example, on-site
visits in multiple clay-workshops and brick-suppliers are being
conducted in the Morogoro region, known for it’s abundant clay natural
resources and building know-how. Integrating local knowledge and
establishing relations to local workshops and suppliers is key to
achieving a locally adapted and sustainable solution. Over this quarter,
the first operation tests will be run, examining thermal performance
and efficiency. Followed by an iteration phase and first user tests on
saba saba and nane nane, introducing the innovation.
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