Easy to transport and assemble, the equipment uses the heat of the sun to cook various recipes safely and conveniently.
SUNplcity is the name given to the folding solar cooker (a mixture of the words sun and simplicity), developed by Frenchman Alain Bivas. “While your food is cooking in the middle of the garden, you can relax and enjoy moments outdoors, without worrying about smoke, gas, burnt food or the safety of children and animals,” assured the SUNplcity design manager, quoted by the Living Cycle portal.
From an early age, Alain Bivas was interested in the energy and heat of the sun. As a young man, he tried to create his first solar cooker, but the power of the equipment was too high and caused some fires. After many projects and attempts, he created a safe solar cooker and started cooking with his girlfriend, using only the heat of the sun. The models he developed were tested in various locations and in the preparation of various recipes.
All this experience led to SUNplicity. Convinced of the possibility of cooking with the heat of the sun, the inventor wanted to create a model that was practical, safe, light and easy to transport. The cooker can be set up anywhere, dispensing, for example, with the use of gas cylinders or other energy sources on campsites and tracks. “Cooking with solar energy is the most fun and tasty way to protect the future of our beautiful planet,” says Alain Bivas.
The construction of this model started in 2009 and was awarded in 2015, when SUNplicity received the gold medal at the Concours Lépine Int. in Paris. Since 2015, the folding solar cooker has been sold to France and Europe. Through the website, it is possible to order for other regions, but the price is quite high, considering conversion and shipping fees – SUNplicity sells for €410 (about 27 800 meticais) on the online shop, which also offers pots of different sizes.
The product is made of metal, with materials selected with durability in mind. The mirror is made of aluminium and covered with two ceramide nano-layers that strengthen the light and limit scratches.
The manufacturer guarantees that, to assemble the cooker, the time spent does not exceed 1 minute (see in this video). The average power of 230° C is a little lower than that of a conventional cooker, but it is capable of boiling a litre of water in 30 minutes. With SUNplicity it is possible to cook meals for up to three people.
Alain is keen to explain that his product is completely safe for people, the kitchen and the environment: at all times, the mirror of the hob remains cold, only the container is heated, the depth avoids any risk of fire and the brightness is controlled so as not to hurt the eyes. In case of strong winds, the hob disengages without spilling the contents of the pan. Moreover, the more even the heat distribution is, the more the food does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
As far as recipes are concerned, Alain explains that solar cooking improves flavour and aroma and respects nutrients, but takes about 15 minutes more per hour than conventional cooking. After use, cleaning is easy. With a soft sponge it is possible to remove any residue.