Factors of Solar Cooker

Topics: Light, Sun, Heat Pages: 2 (359 words) Published: August 28, 2013
Greenhouse Effect
This effect results in the heating of enclosed spaces into which the sun shines through a transparent material such as glass or plastic. Visible light easily passes through the glass and is absorbed and reflected by materials within the enclosed space. The light energy that is absorbed and converted into longer wavelength heat energy and radiates from the interior materials. Most of this radiant energy, because it is of a longer wavelength, cannot pass back out through the glass and is therefore trapped within the enclosed space.

Glass or Plastic Orientation
The more directly the glass or plastic faces the sun, the greater the solar heat gain.

Single or multiple reflectors bounce additional sunlight through the glass or plastic and into the solar box. This additional input of solar energy results in higher cooker temperatures. The reflected light is either absorbed by other materials within the space or, because it doesn't change wavelength, passes back out through the glass.

Molecules of air move in and out of the box through cracks. They convect heated air molecules within a solar box escape, primarily through the cracks around the top cover, a side "oven door" opening, or construction imperfections. Cooler air from outside the box also enters through these openings.

Things that are warm or hot give off heat waves, or radiate heat to their surroundings. These heat waves are radiated from warm objects through air or space. Most of the radiant heat given off by the warm bodies within a solar box is reflected from the styrofoam and glass or plastic back to the pots and bottom tray. Although the transparent material do trap most of the radiant heat, some does escape directly through it. Glass traps radiant heat better than most plastics.

Black Body
Dark materials placed inside of the solar box will absorb more sunlight and generate more heat. If the heat energy builds up faster than it is...
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