This article explains the brief method on how to make solar cooker and how to make solar oven. The solar oven is very much similar to solar cooker, in the sense that when solar cooker can produce higher temperature on modifying the setup, it is called oven.
A solar cooker contains a black coated tray housed in an insulated box with a transparent cover glass to avoid loss of heat from the tray. Black coated vessels with lids are placed in the solar cooker by opening the cover glass. In order to maximize the input of solar radiation (insolation) to the cooking chamber, plane mirror is used to reflect additional radiation to the cooking space. If the numbers of mirrors are increased to concentrate the input insolation, then the system is known as solar oven. The schematic representation of the solar cooker is shown below.
Do it yourself
- Aluminium box of 1.5 ft x 1.5 ft x0.5 ft dimension is filled with glass wool insulation by about 3.5 cm thickness.
- Black coated steel tray of 1.3 ft x 1.3 ft x 0.4 ft dimension is placed in the box and it is fixed in position by screws.
- Double glazed cover glass is fixed with hinges on one side of the box so that it can be opened and closed from top.
- A mirror of about 1.3 ft x 1.3 ft area is fixed on the inside of the top cover.
- The cover could be fixed in position with a sliding arrangement to adjust it to sun to reflect maximum solar radiation to the cooking cavity.
Black coated aluminium cooking vessels are used to cook the dishes. Generally boiling and steaming types of cooking can be done in a solar cooker. The above design will enable the cooking cavity to register a maximum temperature of about 150oC.
Structure The solar oven requires frequent positioning to track sun. It consists of a box mounted on a stand that can be adjusted to track sun. It has multiple mirrors fixed above the box to reflect direct solar radiation to the cooking space through the transparent cover. The cooking vessel can be placed in the oven through an opening at one side of the box. The cooking chamber and the reflector system are shown below. Do it yourself
- Insulated aluminium box or wooden box as shown above is made with an opening to place the cooking vessels inside.
- The top cover is made of transparent material generally glass.
- Above the glass, reflector of the simple pattern with square and triangular mirrors are assembled as the reflector and fixed.
- The oven is mounted on a tracking system capable of east – west orientation and north – south alignment.
The temperature in the cooking chamber will be much higher than that in a cooker. Even baking is possible in the oven.
Cooking is the major stake holder of the total energy demand of a country. To a major extent, non-renewable energy resources are used for cooking. Hence harnessing solar energy for cooking would reduce the energy demand and would have many advantages such as clean energy with no recurring cost and sustainability.
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