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I am a mechanical designer working from New Zealand. I have recently become interested in solar cookers and am intrigued by the solarcooking Wiki website. My research into this technology has so far led me to hundreds of websites and blogs depicting ultra cheap solar cooking units made specifically for the Third World. This is a fantastic scheme which does wonders for the planet and improves the lives of millions of people. I can't however get over the fact that solar cookers which cost relatively nothing to build only have a limited efficiency and as far as I can see only heat a pot of foodstuff to 120 - 180 degrees or thereabouts. Also there are limitations as to what you can cook in a saucepan / pot with a lid. To date I have addressed lots of these types of issues and I still have solutions for solar cookers that conform to this criteria. In short, I am concentrating on the following list. Is there anyone on the Wiki network who shares my interest?
1) Cooking chamber rectangular volume with removable racks. (an oven)
2) Temperature achieved quickly without convection losses (insulated oven sides & glass covered heat source)
3) Temperature same as a benchtop oven (> 250 deg C)
4) Sun / Reflector(s) easily targeted to oven heat source with precise accuracy.
5) Reflectors either collapsable or inverted away from sun when not in use
6) Reflected sunlight kept away from the cook's eyes
7) 3D reflector(s) simply constructed from 2D shapes (not parabolic or 3D curve)
8) Achieve 2.5Kw at reasonable cooking times eg: 9:00am until 3:00pm (1sq m reflector = approx 0.6Kw)
There are more questions and more solutions but I feel that all of them need to be addressed before proceeding with concepts/prototypes. I understand that different geographic positions have different design requirements but maximising efficiency whilst ensuring safety and repeatability is of utmost importance. Cost reduction can only be a final requirement and should not affect these parameters.
Well I hope this blog generates some constructive thought and interest and I look forward to hearing from you all.
KB3D Design Ltd