Solar ovens are great, and we’ve seen a lot of them. But they are limited since they only work when it’s actually sunny. Sun BD Group has bridged that shortfall with a new hybrid solar electric oven that can whip up a great meal at any time of day and under any conditions.
When the sun is shining, the SunFocus uses that energy to cook up to 12 pounds of just about any food imaginable – cakes, bread, meat (if you must), more or less anything that you can cook in a conventional oven.
But thanks to its hybrid technology, it doesn’t lose functionality when a cloud slips in front of the sun, when its overcast, or after sunset.
Even though the SunFocus can be used as a grid-connected item, it still boasts high energy efficiency thanks to its low 465 wattage, which means that it uses about 75 percent less energy than the oven in most homes, according to the company.
Other great features include portability, which is especially important if the oven is to be used out in the field, and at just 30 pounds, it is lightweight enough for just about anyone to carry.
The three reflective panels are made from high grade aluminum and because they are double pane they retain heat for longer, increasing the oven’s overall energy efficiency.
Reaching up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, the oven has a built in thermostat that switches off the electricity when it isn’t needed, and it is easily converted to DC power with an inverter.
Sun BED Group has spent two years perfecting and testing their hybrid solar ovens, which not only performed well in the center of the Pentagon in 2011, but engineers from Chevron (yup!) have tested them in the field as well.
The results have been good, although the company is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to have their product certified by both EU and USA electrical certification bodies and it is unfortunately unlikely to meet its goal to raise $40,000.
Said to be the first hybrid solar oven built in the United States, the SunFocus will eventually hit the foreign market as well, provided that the company is able to raise the necessary funds. Which we think they will.
And if they do, despite the oven’s relative high price of $489, we expect to see a fairly significant uptake by wealthier families in the Middle East region, where the sun shines bright almost all year long.