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Talk:Solar cooking frequently-asked questions

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what's the difference between all solar cooker. joel like bacon

The difference is that most solar cookers have different shapes and sizes and can cook certain foods. some don't always cook at same temperatures. (Ac Milan101)

Food temperatures

I've just changed the sentence that said no food can go above 100 C as it's not strictly true. Pure water boils at 100 C but as soon as you put something in it it boils at a very slightly higher temperature, for example jam can boil at 104 C . There is some food that can get much hotter if it contains sufficiently little water. Toffee for the extreme example needs a temperature of 150 C / 300 F. Obviously at altitude these boiling temperatures drop. 09:12, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

That is quite right. Thanks for that edit. I might add that I lived at at 9200 ft (2800 m) for awhile. At that elevation, water boils at 90°C. Beans are difficult to cook in an unpressurized container. Walter Siegmund 18:16, 15 April 2007 (UTC)-- --

If a major source of heat lost is the window then it would be wise to use double windows? Like seperated by a half inch air gap. Oh just made my first solar box cooker (just need to get the window). I may try it with one window first then a second one. I guess it will also reduce light input so it may have trade offs.|]]

About 4% 12% of power input is blocked by adding a second layer of glazing, but heat loss through the window is more than halved (from 4 to 1.7 W/m2°C). Please see Forum:Why doesn't my solar cooker work? for more. Walter Siegmund 09:33, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Uh, ahem. An ordinary single pane of 3 mm window glass, when clean, actually reduces the light intensity by around 12%, not 4%. This is due (roughly) to 4% reflection at the front surface, 4% absorption, and 4% reflection at the back surface. If the glass is dirty, or if the sun's rays go through the glass at an angle, the total reduction of light intensity is probably as high as 15% or even 17%. the preceding unsigned comment is by Elocn (talk • contribs) 02:57, 21 May 2007
I agree. For float glass, the dielectric reflection is 4% per surface (n=1.52).[1][2][3] For 1 mm thickness, the transmission is above 90%.[4] For a more robust 3 mm thickness, 88% sounds reasonable.
However, for the second layer of a window, it may be better to use a polymeric film. Such a film absorbs and reflects less and is partially protected from UV degradation by the first layer.[5]
My point above is unchanged despite what material is used. A second window layer reduces heat loss more than transmission. Walter Siegmund (talk) 15:58, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
By the way, how does one assume or know when to assume that food won't burn in a box cooker? I designed a box-type cooker contraption which got to around 166oC (330oF). Seeing that this was within the temperature range recommended by standard cookbooks for caramelizing sugar, I tried placing a small jar containing sugar inside it the next day. After several hours, the sugar actually turned dark brown! Surely if sugar can turn brown then food can burn, as it's basically the same reaction. the preceding unsigned comment is by Elocn (talk • contribs) 02:57, 21 May 2007

Automated transfer of Problem Report #14470

The following message was left by Anonymous via PR #14470 on 2008-10-17 23:25:07 UTC

I object to the author's use of "women" as the sole cooks. I understand that this might be how things are in some or most parts of the world, but for the benefit of other people, can we use the word "people". (Under the section in which the suthor addresses the reason why not many people use solar ovens.)

ex: "If the cooker type is similar to the CooKit there is not a lot that you can do to make it cook faster. One small step is to make sure the women are adjusting the front flap of the cooker properly.

I share the above complaint. The use of this sort of sexist language is distasteful, discouraging and demeaning. MTran

Where are solar cookers being used most?

Solar cookers are probably being used the most in developing nations, where existing fuelwood supplies are being ever more scarce. There is also an established and growing market for solar cookers in China and India. Solar cookers are also most effcient 40° north and south of the equator. It is fortunate that areas currently challenged for traditional fuel sources, have abundant sunshine. More information at Where is solar cooking possible? - Paul Hedrick

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