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close this bookSustainable Energy News - No. 06 September 1994 (INFORSE, 1994)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAcknowledgments
View the documentEditorial: Sustainability - A vehicle for Social Development
View the documentRegional News - Africa and Asia
View the documentThe Word Summit on Social Development
View the documentRegional News - Europe
View the documentOrganizing INforSE in Latin America
View the documentRegional News - North America
View the documentShort World News
View the documentBiofuel for Transportation: Adapt the Motors to the Fuel
View the documentThe Brazilian Ethanol Programme General Evaluation and Prospects
View the documentSmall Hydropower in Germany
View the documentPublications
View the documentEvents
View the documentSolar Energy For All !

Solar Energy For All !

This is the motto of the ULOG group, an informal group of about 20 volunteers in Switzerland committed to making solar energy available to the people of the world. The ULOG group was founded by Ulrich Oehler in 1980 to realize this objective. During the past twenty years, the group has successfully developed standard and family-sized solar oven cookers for tropical as well as non-tropical conditions It has also developed SHCK, the Solar Hybrid Community Kitchen, which serves more than 40 people.

Success in Basel

Presently, more than 6000 Swiss households own a solar oven! Switzerland has probably the highest density of solar cookers of all of the countries of the world. The one cooker per 1000 inhabitants saves as much energy as all of the PV-installations in the country. In Basel, the solar cooker can be used on 100 to 150 days per year. On average, one can prepare about 250 cooked meals in that time, which saves about 500 kWh per year.

Assembly Instructions -Recipe Books

To make the cookers acceptable to communities, the group produced a simple design that can be manufactured and disseminated locally. The cooker costs lime, is easy to use, and can reproduce local cuisine. It comes with an installation instruction booklet, and people can see an instructional video film in several languages to help them build a solar oven. The assembly instructions also give information about what a solar cooker can do and cannot do, how long the cooking hours are, how the oven should be cleaned, how the oven works, etc. They include detailed recipe books for local foods as well.


The ULOG group offers ready-to-use and partly assembled models in two sizes with instruction and accessories. In Switzerland, they hold one- or two day courses in which people can learn how to assemble the solar ovens. A wide variety of interested groups has organized courses where even those who are inexperienced in handicrafts can build their own ovens. For groups of at least six participants, the ULOG group furnishes an instructor, who can also present a slide show covering many additional aspects of solar energy and the oven.

Success all over the World

The solar ovens' biggest successes are in Senegal, Kenya, and Sudan. Several thousands of solar cookers have been built in these countries by the ULOG and other project groups as well. At the end of the year there will be about 20 SHCKs, Solar Hybrid Community Kitchens, in India, Sudan, Kenya, Per and Europe. SHCKs are used for, e.g., monasteries, hospitals, schools, and refugee camps. Many projects were subsidized by private sponsors from Switzerland and by a specialized NGO called VKSE. The mobile SHCK is often used for 'solar happenings' in Switzerland and Germany.

No Patent Protection

The products are not protected by patents. The ULOG groups encourage everybody to build their own equipment.

More information from Ulrich Oehler, development engineer, 18 Morgartenring, CH-4054 Basel, Switzerland. Ph.: +41-61-3016622.