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Last updated: 18 February 2016
Catenary reflector hack backyard solar cooking just for fun!
Solar cooking with mylar foil on cardboard and a big sheet of aluminum foil building insulation.
On the washing line. Requires a day with no wind or a sheltered location.
As we are close to the beach every morning is misty or some cloud cover. I was getting a bit fed up with long cooking times, so rigged up a caserole serving tray to hold pyrex containers with a black ceramic bowl inside.
Corning pyrex now has flat silicone lids with borosilicate insert, which can form a seal for cooking. This is a flat lid, so it can fit inside solar ovens close to the top glass. Press down on the rim at the lip to open or close the lid and form a seal. Very convenient for solar cooking. Matte black ceramic bowl heats at the top rim first.
Cooked porridge with ground almonds 1 hour. Beans 2 hours. Rice cooking now for dinner at 3pm.
The clothes pegs surprisingly have stayed in place all day. I raised the lowest point of the sides with some sticky tape just for the time being, and it didn't matter which direction the hills hoist swung after 9am.
So thought I would put up this entirely UNSCIENTIFIC backyard hack solar reflector, with no measurements, and 6 clothes pegs 10 cents, reflector foil $4. No idea where the focal area was, in the middle somewhere, probably a few cms above where I hung the bowl. Just threw it together and hoped it would work. And it did!
Late in the afternoon it is necessary to tether the washing line so its not swinging around, and peg the east side up to keep cooking.
Two mirrors set at a 60 degree angle. This makes a 6 times sunlight reflector with no fuss at all for a quick cuppa. One set can face east, one set can face west, and in the middle one facing the equator. This creates a stable shape for fixing to a wall. Photos to be uploaded here shortly. If the mirrors are hinged they can be folded back and secured against the wall.
- July 2014: Keep Solar Strong: Protect the Renewable Energy Target - Solar Citizens