|DIY Solar Cooker|
If you are learning about solar cooking for the first time, please explore the possibilities and join us in teaching the world that with sunshine, cooking is free and easy.
DIY SOLAR COOKER
This was made back in the late 60's as an experiment by the author's late father. The drawings have been embellished slightly by the ecobites' art department, but essentially they remain close to the original concept.
According to the author, the solar cooker worked extremely well, even on a slightly overcast day. It managed to cook a large range of food items and even baked a loaf of bread, so don't limit your imagination with this brilliant DIY concept. Over the years, the solar cooker was pulled out for special ocassions including the odd barbecue and was a source of amazement. Now, in this enlightened world, maybe we all should be using this device, not only to save on electricity consumption, but as a get back to basics family get together.
Try it. It's fun.
Sadly, the much used cooker made its way to the dump after the author's father passed away. But heh, who knows, maybe it was recycled and is still being used somewhere in Tasmania (where it was created) - a wonderful place that is at the bottom of the world.
The Solar cooker is made from plywood or similar that can be sourced from your recycle outlet or hardware store.
Ideally look for a reflective surface of highly polished metal, mirrored perspex, polished aluminium, etc.
Aluminium foil glued to plywood is excellent if recycled items can't be found.
Establish the size of the solar cooker. The author recommends a depth at the focal point of 20 inches (50cm) and a length of 40 inches (100cm).
Create a Parabolic curve on your plywood pieces to be used for the sides (refer diagram). This is important so that the sunlight bounces off the surface correctly to heat the cooking utensil.
Cut the side pieces and bend the reflective surface around to create your cooker. Tack or screw the reflective surface using 1/2 inch (10mm) plywood for the sides.
What is a Parabolic Curve??? - We're getting technical now - a light ray originating at the focus will be reflected on the parabola and continue in a direction parallel to the axis of symmetry. Likewise, a light ray coming in parallel to the axis of symmetry will be reflected to hit the focus (In this case, your cooking utensil). This property is of course the basis of many applications including headlights, telescopes, satellite dishes, etc. If a set square isn't available, just use a square piece of cardboard or similar as long as it has a thick edge to run a pencil along.
WORD OF CAUTION: This item generates a lot of heat and can burn. Looking directly into the reflected sunrays, especially at the focal point of the solar cooker can blind.
Feature photo courtesy of http://www.royalsolar.in/products/solar-parabolic-cooker/
Member submitted article.
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