FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
Below you’ll find answers to the frequently asked questions (FAQs) we get asked the most about our products.
SolSource Solar Cooker
Assembly & Transport
- 39.6 lbs./18 kg
- Max Height: 1.5m
- Footprint: 1.5m
- Dish Diameter: 1.3m
- Base Height: 0.94m
- 46 lbs./20.9 kg
- 32.3″ x 28.4″ x 11.4″ (inches)
- / 82 cm x 72 cm x 29 cm
How long does it take to assemble SolSource?
Out of the box, it takes one person about 45 minutes to set up SolSource for the first time, and 15 minutes once familiar. A helper is needed to hook the dish onto the main frame. For storage or transportation, SolSource can be partially disassembled into the dish, tripod, and metal frame parts, and reassembled in less than five minutes.
See assembly videos here.
Is SolSource portable?
Two people can easily carry SolSource short distances by lifting both sides of the metal frame. For transportation by car, SolSource can be disassembled and stored in the back seat or trunk.
How should I store SolSource?
SolSource can be kept outdoors. When outdoors, the dish should be covered or taken off the metal frame and placed upside-down for safety purposes. To prolong the life of your SolSource, One Earth Designs sells a specialized cover built to withstand extreme conditions.
How much space does SolSource need for use?
You should allow approximately 4ft by 4ft square area to setup and use SolSource.
Does seasons and latitude affect when you can use SolSource?
Season and latitude affect how many hours you can use SolSource. Here are some examples:
How do I align SolSource?
Begin with SolSource positioned away from the Sun. Place cookware on the pot stand, and rotate the SolSource towards the Sun, so that the Sun can be seen aligned with the cookware in the alignment aid mirror. At this point, the brake disc lever can be engaged if desired. Use the adjustment pole to raise or lower the dish until the focal point can be seen clearly in the center of the bottom of the cookware using the alignment aid.
How often should SolSource be re-aligned?
SolSource should be re-aligned every 20 to 30 minutes.
Can I use SolSource in cold weather?
Yes. As long as the sky is clear, SolSource can be used in below-freezing temperatures.
Can I cook in cloudy weather?
If you can see shadows, you can cook. If clouds frequently pass by, it will make cooking more difficult.
Is SolSource stable in high wind?
Yes, in moderately high wind, the tripod legs can be staked down to the ground.
Is SolSource stable on uneven surfaces?
Yes. However, it is not recommended to use SolSource on very uneven surfaces because pots may slide off the pot stand.
Do the reflective panels get hot?
No. The reflective panels will always remain cool and safe to touch.
What do I need to do when SolSource is not in use?
Do to the parabolic reflectiveness of the SolSource, there is a possibility of a “stray ray” that may cast upon a combustible surface. If this happens that cumbustible surface may catch fire due to the heat. It is recommended that you 1: Never leave your SolSource unattended when in use. 2. That you cover your SolSource when not in use. And, that you either turn your SolSource away from the sun or store it.
Do I need any other accessories?
Sunglasses with UV protection should be worn, as well as oven mitts to avoid any burns.
How fast does it heat up?
On a clear sunny day, SolSource boils 1 liter of water in 10 minutes, reaches grilling and baking temperatures in 5 minutes and searing temperatures within 10 minutes.
What kinds of cookware can I use on SolSource?
SolSource can be used with nearly any kind of cookware that you would use on a traditional stove. This includes pots, pans, kettles, grill plates, woks, or anything that is wide enough to fit on the pot stand. The SolSource base can support up to 40 pounds, which corresponds approximately to the weight of a full 20-liter stockpot.
The best materials to use are those that conduct heat well, such as cast aluminum. Cast iron and stainless steel will also work, as well as special alloys. For best performance, always try to use a cooking vessel that has a dark-colored or matte base. Cookware with a glossy or reflective base (like a shiny copper kettle, for example) will not heat up as quickly.
Always make sure that the cookware can withstand high temperatures, just like on a stovetop. This means that materials such as untempered glass and plastic should not be used for SolSource cookware because they may melt or shatter.
For more info read our “Choosing the Right Cookware for SolSource“.
What can I do to reduce the heat level?
To reduce the heat level, you can temporarily turn SolSource slightly out of alignment so that the focal point is aligned to the side of the cookware. Alternatively, cover part of the dish with an opaque material, taking care not to bring the cloth too close to the focal point.
Can I bake with SolSource?
Yes. You can use SolSource to bake by placing the baking tin on a stand inside a large closed black pot such as a dutch oven. The large pot will work like an oven. Turn the baking tin regularly for even heating and browning.
Read our “Baking Bread with SolSource: A Step-by-Step Guide for Parabolic Solar Cookers” blog here.
Is solar-cooked food safe?
Yes. Food cooked on SolSource is just as safe as food cooked on a stove top, and should be handled with all of the same precautions.
Cleaning & Maintenance
How do the reflective panels hold up to hot oil, grease and food splatters?
In general, spilled liquids, food, and oil will not damage the reflective panels. The reflective panels are impact and scratch-resistant, and have a high melting temperature.
How do I clean SolSource?
The SolSource reflector is optical, so you can apply the same techniques as if you were cleaning a window or eye glasses. Here’s what we recommend: Pour warm water over the reflective dish to wash away most non-oil dirt. For oil and hard-to-remove dirt, spray water and use a soft cloth with gentle or mild detergent, then rinse the soap off with water. Do not use abrasives such as a coarse sponge or cloth, or corrosive chemicals such as bleach.
How long will SolSource last?
Solsource is designed for a long life, and the reflective panels maintain 90% of their original reflectivity over a simulated six-year lifespan under accelerated weather and use conditions.
When will it ship?
Mid-August 2017, subject to manufacturing schedule.
How much will it cost?
Will you ship to any country?
We will advise you on shipping to your country. You are responsible for any customs, duties, and taxes for your country.
What is the shipping cost?
Shipping to anywhere in the world is US$50. We believe in providing a fair rate to all our customers, no matter where they are in the world. For that reason, we’re providing a global flat rate.
Does the reflector scratch easily?
The reflector of SolSource Sport will be made with the same patented self-healing polymer material as our current SolSource. It was engineered to be used in the Himalayas where sandstorms are frequent. The reflectors can withstand minor scratching without affecting its performance. However, repeat scratching with abrasive material will damage the reflectors. Polishing the reflector will cause irreversibly damage.
How big is SolSource Sport?
How much does SolSource Sport weight?
About 10 Pounds / 4.5 kilograms.
What is the weight bearing capacity?
The test units bear 6kg but this is still subject to final design decisions based on user feedback.
What pots/pans can I use?
SolSource Sport will be able to support about 12 Lb / 6 KG of food and cookware combined. Cookware with black bottoms made from aluminum or copper performs best. Make sure to keep the lid on while cooking to keep the heat in and prevent moisture loss to the air.
How hot does my food get?
SolSource Sport reaches 200°C. You can pan fry eggs, bacon and sausages, boil water to make coffee and tea, or reheat food that you have prepared earlier. As with any form of cooking, check to ensure meat is thoroughly cooked through and food is piping hot before consumption.
How hot does the pot stand get?
The metal part of the pot stand will get heated up alongside the cookware placed on top, and can reach at or above 200°C.
Do the reflectors get hot?
No. They stay cool as all the sun’s energy is reflected onto the pot stand.
How quickly can I cook a meal?
10-15 minutes, depending on how sunny and ambient temperature.
How much power does SolSource Sport generate?
How energy efficient is SolSource Sport?
92% efficient at converting sunlight into heat, compared to about 15% efficiency of photovoltaic panels converting sunlight into electricity.
Can I cook when it’s cold, windy or cloudy?
SolSource Sport can be used in cold and windy condition. Regarding clouds, it depends. If you can see your shadow, yes. But the power will be constrained. You cannot use any solar cooker when there is full cloud cover.
How much fuel and money do I save?
How much pollution do I prevent when I use SolSource Sport?
When cooking with SolSource Sport, you produce zero air pollution (CO2, CO, PM2.5, NOX). Cooking food will release some CO2 into the atmosphere, but the amount is negligible.
Can I cook while sitting?
Yes. By resting SolSource Sport on the ground, you can cook while sitting on a picnic bench or a beach chair.
Can I cook while standing?
Yes. You can rest SolSource Sport on a picnic table, or on raised ground. Make sure it is a sturdy / stable surface. Also check out base upgrade options.
What size pan can I use on it?
The pot stand fits an 20cm / 8” pan easily. Any pan bigger than that will start obscuring the reflectors and diminish cooking power. The pot stand can support smaller cookware.
Can I cook on a boat?
Yes. You can. Ensure SolSource Sport is placed on a stable surface away from the edge of the vessel so your food and cooking utensils don’t fall into the sea!
Can I tailgate with SolSource Sport?
Yes. You can rest SolSource Sport at the back of a truck or next to a picnic table.
How do I clean my SolSource Sport?
The reflector is easy to clean – just warm mild soapy water, and wipe dry.
How do I cook with SolSource Sport?
Just like how you normally do. Just point SolSource Sport at the sun and start cooking.
How do I assemble my SolSource Sport?
It’s easy to do in just 3 minutes, by simply follow the assembly instructions in the box.
Warranty & Returns
How do I make a warranty claim?
If your item has a manufacturing defect in its materials or workmanship, we will replace the defective part. Email us and explaining the issue at: email@example.com.
What is your returns policy?
Providing you with high quality products you can rely on is important to us. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, you can return unused items purchased from One Earth Designs for a refund within 30 days of purchase. If you experience breakage during normal and correct usage, you can replace broken parts using our online system. One Earth Designs’ guarantee does not cover ordinary wear and tear or damage caused by improper use or accidents. If your item has a manufacturing defect in its materials or workmanship, we will replace the defective part. Email us and explaining the issue at: firstname.lastname@example.org . See our limited warranty.