The goal of our project, solar thermal cooker, was to create a cheap device that could convert the light from the sun to as much heat as possible. Specifically we wanted to get our solar thermal cooker so hot that we could boil water, and cook sausages. To achieve this goal we need to get at least 212 degrees Fahrenheit. With that in mind we were able to get our solar thermal cooker to about 170 degrees Fahrenheit in an 75 degree windy weather. The group of people that would most like our project would be destitute people living in very poor areas around the world that cannot afford high tech solar thermal cookers. To be able to build our solar thermal cooker you would need the following:
1. One saucer or trash can lid.
2. One roll of reflective tape or aluminum foil (reflective tape would work best)
3. One pair of scissors
4. One roll of duck tape
5. 2 pieces of wood so that it can act for a frame for the saucer, or cut off the bottom part of the satellite dish.
6. one hammer
7. one pack of nails
9. A black pan
10. water with some kind of bowl
Even though it may seem like a lot of materials we spent around 10 American dollars on all of this equipment, especially because you could use aluminum foil. Also, if you are worried that this will take you a long time to assemble, we assembled our project in 3-4 hours. If this seems like a long period of time, we assure you that you shall not be disappointed by the end results. The final dimensions of the project end up being height = 20 inches, width = 31 inches, length = 30 inches. The only materials that would be hard to find would be the reflective tape, but we reiterate that there is no shame in using aluminum foil. Substitute materials are of course the aluminum foil, and if you don't have a hammer you could always use a shoe. In order to not bore you with a ton of pictures we included to of the most essential materials
Step 1: The physics behind the solar thermal cooker
It will be fairly easy to construct the solar thermal cooker, but it is also fun and important to understand the physics behind the solar thermal cooker. Light enters the solar thermal cooker when it hits the parabolic shape of the saucer, which of course is covered in reflective tape.Because of the angle of the saucer the light energy bounces off and hits on a specific point in the floor or in this case a black pan. Remember the key to making sure that the light hits a specific point is the parabolic shape of the saucer. Once the light hits a specific point in the black pan it will begin to absorb the light, and convert the light into heat energy. The pan must be black because the color black absorbs all wavelengths of light which is essential. Alebdo, or the fraction of solar energy reflective from Earth back to Space, goes with the concept of capturing the light and having the solar thermal cooker heat up our food. If we were to build a box cooker it would relate to the greenhouse effect because it would use the sun's warmth in the box and thus making all inner contents hot, which is what is basically happening to our world as we speak.