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Last updated: 21 October 2016
With the advent of cheap evacuated glass tubes that are manufactured in China, is has become practical to use them to create Evacuated tube solar cooker designs. The first such use is apparently Alex Kee in Malaysia, who demonstrated such a cooker at the Solar Cookers and Food Processing International Conference (2006) in Granada, Spain. Such tubes were originally produced as a component of popular solar water heating systems.
Evacuated tube literally means that the cooking chamber is constructed of two layers of blown glass in the shape of a sealed tube, where the air has been removed between the layers.
Heat loss happens primarily by conduction and convection through a medium. With no air between the layers of glass the chamber is nicely insulated, well suited for retaining cooking heat. The chamber is so effective it often does not require a large reflector to capture sunlight. The ends of the tube are open so a slender cooking tray can be inserted. Improvements in glass technology is allowing for larger diameter tubes to be fabricated, which will allow larger cook pots to be inserted inside.
- February 2016: Steam collection in evacuated tube cooking: Faustine Odaba from NAREWAMA, describes the behavior of steam inside a tilted vacuum evacuated tube.
- August 2015: Solarmate is a recent product developed by the company of the same name. It is compact and easily carried. It has been designed more for quickly heating water for hot drinks.
- August 2015: Evacuated tube observations and performance - Dave Oxford and Stewart MacLachlan
- August 2015: The SLiCK SM70 is an evacuated tube solar cooker. With relatively large reflectors it is well suited for solar cooking in high latitude locations such as the United Kingdom where it was developed. It will cook well at other locations as well.
Advantages and disadvantages
- Usually compact, and can cook quite efficiently with relatively small reflectors
- Contemporary designs have aesthetic appeal
- The cooking chamber requires careful handling to avoid thermal shock and breakage of the glass tube
- Glass technology somewhat limits the size of opening of the cooking chamber
- January 2016: The Behavior of Steam Inside a Vacuum Evacuated Tube - Faustine Odaba, NAREWAMA
- January 2016: Durability of Solar Cooking Tubes - some field trials and observations (Abstract - Field and Destructive Testing of Solar Vacuum Tube Cookers) - Stewart MacLachlan/Dave Oxford CONSOLFOOD 2016, SLiCK Solar Stove, United Kingdom