Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Have you ever considered using the sun to bake your food while you are camping? Solar cookers can be made fairly easy and the baking process probably will not take as long as one might think.
I have been researching solar cookers for a while now and I plan on building a solar cooker over the holidays. I thought I would share this with you early because it would be a great experiment for you to do with your kids over the holidays. While my homemade version will not be as sophisticated as some, I still plan to be able to make cookies, brownies, boil a potato, etc, even during the middle of December.
I should start this with a few disclaimers. First, always where sunshades and never look directly at the light being reflected. Second, wear heave gloves because the oven can be extremely hot. While it is great to have kids around for the learning process, make sure they stay away from the oven and do not touch any hot objects.
The key to an effective solar cooker is making sure you can reflect as much of the sun's energy as possible to one area. This involves two things, first a good reflective material (Aluminum Foil works), and second, framing it in such a way to focus the energy to one general area. This can often be done using a cardboard box. To further convince you this is easier and cheaper than you think, I would like for you to visit this website created by solarcookers.org. If you click on the images more information is provided, including plans for the solar cooker oven.
In addition I wanted to share with you a few videos about solar cooking.
I will followup this blog in the future with the results of my test, but for now I would like to focus on the benefits of solar cooking. 1/3 of the world's population are dependant on wood for cooking and heating. The majority of these are in tropical areas that would be ideal for the use of a solar oven. The additional benefit of people being able to boil drinking water could significantly reduce the spread of water borne diseases. Currently, diseases spread through water cause 80% of the worlds illnesses (WHO). The cardboard and aluminum fool type ovens can be easily built for $10-$15.