Solar ovens are a great way to cook sustainably, but they have the drawback of not working very well on cloudy days. However, the new SunFocus solar hybrid oven, made by Sun BD Corporation, takes care of that problem. And what’s more, you can even use this oven to cook at night. This is possible because the SunFocus oven has a hybrid solar and electric system, with the latter taking over once the sun sets or hides behind the clouds.
The SunFocus solar hybrid oven can be used to cook from 10 to 12 pounds of food at a time. It is able to reach a temperature of 375 F when using the electric component, and 350 F if using solar only. The SunFocus solar oven is designed much like other such ovens, and features double-paned glass and a moisture resistant EPDM seal for added heat retention, tri-panel reflectors made of high-grade aluminum, and a good-sized aluminum alloy cooking chamber, which measures 13 ½” x 19” with a height of 6 ¼”. The oven also features an impact resistant outer case. The oven is also foldable, and can be transported in a suitcase-like clam shell case, which weighs about 30 lbs.
As for the electric component, the one used by the SunFocus oven is only 465 W, which uses roughly 75% less electricity than a conventional household electric oven. The oven also features a built-in thermostat, which turns off the electric element when not needed, while it also turns the oven back on when there is not enough sunlight.
Since the SunFocus has an alternate, electrical back-up system it should have a wider market appeal. Even the people who have until now stayed away from solar ovens due to their limited usefulness might be intrigued by a solar oven than works day and night. The electric feature of the oven, of course, requires the oven to be plugged in to 120V AC power supply, though the manufacturers claim it could also be run from a DC system with an inverter.
The SunFocus ovens are manufactured in the USA and can already be purchased direct from Sun BD for $489. SunBD also recently ran a Kickstarter campaign to help fund their expansion into the global market. The campaign unfortunately didn’t meet its funding goal.