Solar Cookers World Network


aka Helen

114 Edits since joining this wiki
November 6, 2011

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Hi, welcome to Solar Cooking! Thanks for your edit to the Cupcake solar cooker page.

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Please leave a message on my talk page if I can help with anything! -- Tom Sponheim (Talk) 12:08, November 6, 2011

Thanks for adding the Cupcake solar cooker article. I'm assuming that you are putting foil around the bottom of each cupcake. Did you paint this foil black? Tom Sponheim 18:33, November 9, 2011 (UTC)

Hi Tom,

Thanks for looking at my cupcake page. There is no need to paint the cupcakes patty cases black. Add a bigger mirror if you want a faster result. (Bit Alice in Wonderland, painting the roses). The refraction angle in the foil patty cases is about 70 to 75 degrees, which is just coincidentally perfect for getting the heat into the base of the mixture. I was surprised when this combination worked so quickly, as usually I had been using a baking tray, it would take twice as long, and cook more on the top than the bottom. This way, the cooking is even through and twice as fast approx. A metal baking tray is absorbing and emitting heat, whereas the aluminium is refracting and reflecting ALL the available sunlight in the patty case directly.

The dome shape of the pyrex is critical to getting air movement and steam to the pyrex surface, where it can condense, roll down and be evaporated out at the rim, its a fan like convection action just from the rising steam. If I use a flat pyrex casserole dish, it has to be wiped down, or angled at more than 10 degrees to get the condensation to run, and the air circulation is uneven and slower.

You could just put the patty cases down on a sidewalk or hot road and cover it with a pyrex bowl and set up a couple of mirrors or a car reflector in a cone shape. You can't put pyrex in the glass recycling stream, as it is incompatible with other glass. It goes to landfill. Any Australian charity Op Shop, secondhand store, has them, which means they are readily available for a small sum or free.

In Australia the desert is covered in Aboriginal artifacts, grinding stones, fish traps. You don't walk around carrying them, they are left in the landscape and you use them when you need them, at any creek across the country. This fact was entirely overlooked by white settlers, so its mostly still there. So I'm interested in creating some solar solutions for the long term, using what is commonly available already, recycling. Placing them in the environment so that they can be used by anyone at parks, community spaces, so have a few designs, to test out and run with. Doing a sculpture that boils a kettle for a local sculpture competition, called 'But does it make tea?'

I have done a lot of volunteer work with homeless people over the years, and mentored cooks at Lentil As Anything in Melbourne at Abbotsford Convent, a donation community restaurant, so I am going to put together some urban junk solar cooking projects bit by bit. Next will be the 'shopping trolley' solar oven. I'm an artist and have been in a glass studio at the Convent as well, so may put up some crystal smelting solar stuff too. I make sculptures by casting blackwood crystal.

Hope you have a great day, I'm off to Canberra all next week for a protest for Forgotten Australians with my partner Brian Cherrie. You can google him, but I try and remain anonymous online for personal reasons. Will put up some more stuff up in a couple of weeks.

Regards Helen Dawson 03:24, November 10, 2011 (UTC)

Cupcakes without the foil cups

Thanks for the detail about your interesting work. Have you tried cooking the cupcakes without the tinfoil cups (just using paper)?

Tom Sponheim 06:50, November 10, 2011 (UTC)

Hi Tom

If just using paper patty cases, they need to be put in a muffin tray , to hold the sides up. If you put baking paper patty cases on a flat baking tray, they will collapse sideways with the weight of the mixture, unless its a little meringue mixture piled in the middle. Not structurally sound at all... I'll do some time trials with 3 lots on the same solar cooker, and put up a photo of the results. Tin tray, paper cases, foil case, all together at one.

Regards Helen Dawson

Hdawsond 23:08, November 10, 2011 (UTC)

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