Solar Cooker

Topics: Solar cooker, Solar furnace, Solar Cookers International Pages: 9 (3248 words) Published: September 5, 2010
Solar cooker
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In Ghana, Zouzugu villagers like this woman prevent dracunculiasis and other waterborne diseases by pasteurizing water in a CooKit solar cooker. A solar oven or solar cooker is a device which uses sunlight as its energy source. Because they use no fuel and they cost nothing to run, humanitarian organizations are promoting their use worldwide to help slow deforestation and desertification, caused by using wood as fuel for cooking. Solar Cookers are a form of outdoor cooking and are often used in situations where minimal fuel consumption is important, or the danger of accidental fires is high. Contents

1 Types
o1.1 Box cookers
o1.2 Panel cookers
o1.3 Solar kettles
o1.4 Parabolic cookers
o1.5 Hybrid cookers
2 Using a solar cooker
3 Advantages
4 Disadvantages
5 Solar cooking projects
o5.1 Bakeries in Lesotho
o5.2 Darfur refugee camps
o5.3 Indian solar cooker village
o5.4 Gaza
6 See also
7 References
8 External links

[edit] Types
There are a variety of types of solar cookers: over 65 major designs and hundreds of variations of them. The basic principles of all solar cookers are: •Concentrating sunlight: Some device, usually a mirror or some type of reflective metal, is used to concentrate light and heat from the sun into a small cooking area, making the energy more concentrated and therefore more potent. •Converting light to heat: Any black on the inside of a solar cooker, as well as certain materials for pots, will improve the effectiveness of turning light into heat. A black pan will absorb almost all of the sun's light and turn it into heat, substantially improving the effectiveness of the cooker. Also, the better a pan conducts heat, the faster the oven will work. •Trapping heat: Isolating the air inside the cooker from the air outside the cooker makes an important difference. Using a clear solid, like a plastic bag or a glass cover, will allow light to enter, but once the light is absorbed and converted to heat, a plastic bag or glass cover will trap the heat inside. This makes it possible to reach similar temperatures on cold and windy days as on hot days. •Plastic Sheet: Uses plastic sheets to assure that liquids do not seep through into the oven. Also to prevent staining of the underlying sheet in the oven. Alone, each of these strategies for cooking something using solar energy is fairly ineffective, but most solar cookers use two or all three of these strategies in combination to get temperatures sufficient for cooking. The top can usually be removed to allow dark pots containing food to be placed inside. One or more reflectors of shiny metal or foil-lined material may be positioned to bounce extra light into the interior of the oven chamber. Cooking containers and the inside bottom of the cooker should be dark-colored or black. Inside walls should be reflective to reduce radiative heat loss and bounce the light towards the pots and the dark bottom, which is in contact with the pots. [edit] Box cookers

Solar oven
The inside insulator for the solar box cooker has to be able to withstand temperatures up to 150°C (300 °F) without melting or off-gassing. Crumpled newspapers, wool, rags, dry grass, sheets of cardboard, etc. can be used to insulate the walls of the cooker, but since most of the heat escapes through the top glass or plastic, very little insulation in the walls is necessary. The transparent top is either glass, which is durable but hard to work with, or an oven cooking bag, which is lighter, cheaper, and easier to work with, but less durable. If dark pots and/or bottom trays cannot be located, these can be darkened either with flat-black spray paint (one that is non-toxic when warmed), black tempera paint, or soot from a fire. The solar box cooker typically reaches a temperature of 150 °C (300 °F). This is not as hot as a standard oven,...
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