He learned his trade about 10 years ago from David and Ruth Whitfield--our Bolivian friends from Cedesol! She is the one whom I taught to solar cook in 2000, and who has since built over 5,000 cookers with women in Bolivia. This old carpenter was fabulous, and we became instant comrades. He lives alone, and works independently. Today he baked a little cake for himself!
I like the design of the ULOG a lot. The cookers that we've been making have a design flaw in that the glass breaks too easily; on the ULOG the glass is not only protected with a hinged door, it is framed and double with a dead air space between, providing that insulation and thus efficiency. The ULOG is also bigger than the cooker that we've been making, thus better fits into this culture.
I've been wanting to get this ULOG design to Taquile for years, and now we find a local producer. We're going to buy one of his cookers for our family on Taquile. ¡Hooray!
March 24, We buy the cooker
Remigio Arnao and Tara with our newly finished ULOG solar cooker in his workshop.
The ULOG cooker has the distinct design of two panes of glass framed. See the hinges on the bottom? In order to open the cooker, you close the reflector down over the glass and lift up the whole glass and reflector assembly. The advantage is that the glass is carefully protected, and difficult to break. Cool!
Remigio was pleased to see us when we returned today to buy the newly finished cooker. He had cooked a rice dish in the new cooker and said it took 2 hours instead of the 2 1/2 hours that his 9-year-old cooker takes. It seemed to be a trick to catch for the right bus, so we caught a different one and walked quite a ways from the Yanamayo prison to his house. We carried the cooker back into town in a combi, paying for two extra seats.
When Ruperta saw it in our room, she hugged it!
Postscript: Solar Store in Puno
ElectroSol in Bellavista neighborhood sells solar PV panels and parts, thermal hot water systems, and this one style of parabolic solar cooker (done for the day).
We helped Silvano buy a regulator so he could charge batteries with his 85 watt panel.
Silvano's panel was too big for the regulator we had brought, so we bought one at ElectroSol. See the hot water panel and tank behind us.
March 30 update.
Remigio was all out of "placas offset," used offset printer plates, necessary to make his cookers. We found some at a print shop in Puno and brought them to him, ordered additional reflectors to power up the ULOG. They are smaller than the ones he is used to using from Bolivia, but he is creative and thinks he can make the cookers and reflectors just fine. ¡What a guy!