Instructables

Solar Thermal Cooker

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The goal of the project was to design a solar cooker that can boil water to cook instant noodles. The maximum temperature was 115 degrees Fahrenheit.  This project would interest people in third world countries who need to cook their food, but do not have a lot of resources. These materials should cost under $20, and most if it can be recycled. It will take about 3 hours to assemble, and the final project should be square feet. Scissors and box cutters are dangerous, and sunglasses should be worn when cooking to prevent vision damage.

Materials:
-3 foam sheets (21 in X 21 in)
-1 foam sheet (18 in X 8 in)
-1 roll of reflective Mylar
-4 Popsicle sticks
-a pan
-a pack of ramen
-water
-a roll of string

Cardboard can substitute for foam sheets. Reflective tape, or aluminum foil can be used to replace the Mylar. Wooden pencils or any strong stick can be used in place of the Popsicle sticks.

Tools:
-scissors
-box cutters
-duct tape
-yard stick


 
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Step 1: Physics of How It Works

Picture of Physics of How It Works
The mylar covered foam pieces capture the light from the sun. The reflective pieces is angled to reflect all the light to focus on one point, which is the black pan. Since the black color absorbs light (unlike white, which reflects light), the light energy is turned into heat energy. This heat energy is used to heat up the water in order to cook the food.

Step 2: Step 1

Picture of Step 1
First, use the yard stick and box cutter to measure and cut out three 21'' X 21'' in foam pieces, and one 18''X 8'' piece.

Step 3: Step 2

Picture of Step 2
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Second, measure, and cut the reflective Mylar the same size as the foam pieces. Afterwards, cover the foam pieces with the reflective Mylar. Make sure there are no air bubbles or wrinkles, as this will reduce the amount of light that can be reflected.
Tip: when attaching the Mylar, stick one end to the foam board first, without removing the whole thing. Afterwards, slowly remove it while smoothing out the other end. 

Very cool!

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