http://blip.tv/file/2429375/ is the latest how to about using the art of illusion software.
check it out! (It is 11 minutes but worth it and I could not edit the screencast to the 10 minute maximum for other video sites)
The Kyoto trough was placed in the plans and designs section at http://solarcooking.wikia.com by their webmaster a couple of days ago. (May 5th 2009)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp4TWLQbYJ4 is video to explain the trough.
and I have a video showing differences between different dish shapes at
26th March, I added a movie (covering 6 hours) for a dish made with the Roland Winston "dimpled curve" to this page.
Winston had a host of patents and he is pretty famous. (His proper design is a trough). Anyway, the dish made to his trough specs seems to be the best of the lot when it is aimed badly.
Check the movie clips to see for yourself! If you want to know more about Winstons famous w curve, check the yahoo fossilfreedom group. A guy has done an excell file of his design there. (Lapsed patent).
15th March, I added a zipped folder on step one to get you quickly started with this software.
Draw elevation, plan and end view of your solar reflector, drop it into a scene, run the program and you can directly compare it to traditional reflectors! Before you build it.
Step 2 has photos in sequence with image notes, to walk you through the software.
Image notes are used lots in this instructable! Click on the mov files at the bottom of this page to see my first (not quite right) attempts at modeling the sun moving across a reflector over 6 hours in movie form. This shows how 5 differently curved dishes perform!
There are many other curves to try out! And troughs can be tested too!
People in Chad are not allowed to gather firewood anymore due to desertification.
(see the solar cooking wiki for more details)
So now many people cannot cook their food.
Lets design better solar cookers to help out a bit!
You do not even need to get your hands dirty if you design with software!
Traditional parabolic solar cookers are great as long as you keep repointing them at the sun.
But who wants to stand in 35 degree C heat doing this for a couple of hours?
Let us use the software to design reflectors
that maximixe the collected sunlight for an hour or 2.
My thanks to Peter Eastman, Pete and others on the art of illusion forums for helping me with
this. Nothing would have happened without their help.
The basic idea behind this instructable is that if the sun could see, It would see the reflection of the cooking pot bouncing back from the reflector.
The size of the reflection that the sun sees should corelate with the cooking efficiency of the reflector. Lets put a camera where the sun is!