The PanCooker is an inexpensive version of a solar panel cooker. Its creator, Constantine Orfan, is a solar enthusiast also committed to helping find economically viable design options for solar cookers, with the goal of providing cookers to populations in countries with limited resources in need of cooking alternatives.
It consists of a 12 x 24 inch flexible back reflector, 18 x 24 inch shiny surface mat, and 12-quart clear plastic ice bucket. Up to a 4-quart black enamel stock pot can be used to treat water or cook a meal. A 2-quart black teapot may also be used for water treatment.
According to Orfan, "The PanCooker works because the back reflector is curved to reflect and focus sunlight onto the center of the surface mat where we place our water pot. The shiny surface mat further reflects light onto the pot and onto the back reflector. The black color of the pot acts like a light magnet absorbing all available light striking its' surface. The pots' metal molecules are excited by the photons that make up the light resulting in heat which is transferred to the water (or food) in the pot. Finally, the clear plastic ice bucket helps to retain heat by promoting a greenhouse effect and preventing heat loss due to wind and air temperature."