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Solar Cookers
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David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Solar Cookers on 07/08/2006 12:06:56 MDT Print View

Has anyone heard of solar cooking?! Seems crazy... but I guess it must work. Perhaps it's more of those closer to the equator than I am :) Anyway, I was looking at these cookers and one is made from an umbrella. Could be a dual use item for those who like hiking in the hot sun under an umbrella

http://solarcooking.org/paracuina.pdf

Of course... it probably takes 2 hours to actually cook anything :P

Edited by davidlewis on 07/08/2006 12:10:46 MDT.

Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Solar cooker on 07/20/2006 09:06:44 MDT Print View

For dual use, here's what you might run into. The black side (outside) will absorb heat. The reflective side will possibly radiate that heat, and reflect your own body heat back at you. Might be a bit toasty under the umbrella.

I am interested in whether this works though. If you pursue it, please let us know.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Solar cooker on 07/20/2006 09:59:08 MDT Print View

Ahh... right... good point. Hiking umbrellas always have the reflective material on the OUTSIDE. Anyway... I just thought it was interesting. I think the issue would be that it would probably take a very long time to cook anything. Plus you'd have to be somewhere hot enough for them to work.

Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Solar cooker on 07/20/2006 11:55:25 MDT Print View

You could get a white umbrella though. Also, what struck me about that article is that they were using aluminum foil (I think, they said aluminum paper). You fold and unfold that a few times, and the wrinkles are likely to send the sun rays in all sorts of directions.

One thing that might be used instead is this aluminized polymer sheeting they use for these emergency thermal blankets, sold at REI and other places. Light weight, and won't permanently wrinkle like foil.

Whatcha think?

I've been wondering how a non-folding version could serve double duty as a wind fairing on the front of my bike.

Dwight

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Solar Cookers on 07/20/2006 14:18:16 MDT Print View

Fun stuff!

The big problem as I see it, is that you'd have to be cooking at a time when most folks are hiking. That, and in breezy mountain environments too much heat would likely be carried away with an open-air umbrella system. The better solar cooking systems seem to be housed in sealed boxes.

Another potential use would be for pasteurizing drinking water.

Solar Cookers International is a neat organization. Considering how hot Sacramento is today, I'm thinking they could do all their cooking on their dashboards.

Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Solar cooker on 07/21/2006 23:48:54 MDT Print View

You know, don't let my comments discourage you from trying what you want to do. But perhaps a white umbrella would be a good start.

I've been perusing that solarcooking.org site. Good Ideas. There's one that can fold down into a 9"x12"x2" bundle, made of cardboard and foil. Perhaps that, or something sized appropriately, could fit behind a sleeping pad that is being used as the structure for a frameless bag.

The site keeps referring to using a black pot inside of a plastic bag, to capture and retain the heat.

Another option would be an aluminum pop can, painted black on the outside, lowered down into a Nalgene bottle. Nalgene can withstand temperatures of 200F.

Another one uses a reflective auto windshield screen. That could go behind the sleeping pad too.

Thanks for getting me thinking.

Dwight

Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Solar cooker on 07/21/2006 23:52:49 MDT Print View

Regarding heat being blown away in breezy mountain environs, the use of an oven roasting bag, or other plastic bag, works to keep the heat in, at least according to that site.

Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
prototype in the works on 07/26/2006 09:24:29 MDT Print View

I was out car camping this weekend and started designing a solar cooker made out of an auto windshield heat shield. Just on paper so far (had to call my boss to ask him for the sine of 18 degrees).

This should be lightweight and foldable. Only need to work out the support for it.

On the site solarcooking.org, one woman does use a windshield heat shield, but just curves it into a funnel. I tried that, and it did heat the water up, but I didn't wait an hour for it to boil.

I'm thinking about taking the heat shield and cutting it to make a more parabolic reflector.

Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
high temperature paint on 07/27/2006 22:22:27 MDT Print View

I'm still fooling with making a solar cooker, and am looking at pots right now.

GSI has a somewhat lightweight pot and cup (11 oz) which are already anodized a darker gray.

Snowpeak has a similar setup, but it weights half as much. However, the outside of the pots are shiny.

I need a dark color to absorb heat better.

I found a high temperature flat black paint on line, which says it can be sprayed on steel. Wonder if that would that include titanium?

Walter Yates
(WHY) - F

Locale: Utah
Solar Cookers help on 03/07/2007 15:04:43 MST Print View

How could a solar oven help reduce backpack weight?

Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Solar Cookers help on 03/08/2007 13:01:57 MST Print View

Minimize fuel requirements on a long trip. Solar cooker can be made out of some light-weight reflective material like Reflectix, and a turkey roasting bag.

Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Solar Cookers help on 03/09/2007 08:37:10 MST Print View

And could greatly minimize fuel use for melting snow for water.

I have a panel cooker, just a 3x3' sheet of Reflectix, trimmed down, that weighs 8 oz.

Edited by zydeholic on 03/09/2007 08:38:11 MST.

Steve Smith
(bardsandwarriors) - F

Locale: Wales
UL solar cooker idea on 03/09/2007 11:10:55 MST Print View

I've been checking out the solar cooker site aswell. It might be possible to make bread, cakes etc, on the trail if you hang about in one place for a day, or stop early.

How about some kind of frame made of thin sticks (plastic, wood, bamboo, titanium, etc) and string, and a space blanket stretched over them?

Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: UL solar cooker idea on 03/10/2007 21:55:32 MST Print View

I think there's something called Martha's Solar Cooker. Not sure if that's the name. Looks like it was made from a space blanket.

Perhaps an umbrella like David was talking about, but with mylar on both sides so it serves double use.