Intro: How to Create an Omnidirectional Solar Cooker!
HELLO! If you have come here then you are wondering how to create a solar cooker. There are a lot of different solar cookers out there and our design is one out of many. Ours focuses around a design that catches sun from all directions and does not have to be turned throughout the day. Hope this works out and have fun cooking. The original goal of this project is to build a low cost solar cooker that could be used in any environment that has full access to the sun. This was mainly for third world countries such as Afghanistan who are in desperate need for food. Since many families who cook food using coal and wood begin to get diseases in their lungs, this is a cleaner and safer way for those types of families.
Step 1: Materials
The materials you will need for this project will be
- Cutting tool, preferably a
- Reflective surface (we used an emergency blanket)
- Tape/Adhesive Material
- Food, we made ramen/heated water.
- Plexi glass/Saran Wrap.
- Cinder Block
Step 2: Setting Up
Here you can either use your own judgement or print it off of the internet. Take your foamboard and draw an octagon. The size of the octagon depends on how big you want your solar cooker to be. After you made your octagon as perfect as possible, draw a trapezoid connecting with each side of the octagon. The angle and length of the trapezoid is based around on how you can make the outer ring. Your outer ring of trapezoids should create another octagon and when lifted should be able to go around the octagon.
Step 3: Cutting
Cut the god damn thing. (make sure to follow the lines :D)
Step 4: Cutting Your Reflective Surface
If you are like us and did not have any mylar to use, you can go to Walmart and buy a reflective blanket. The reflective blanket, since it is a huge rectangle, needs to be cut to make it much more easier to work with and not have many folds and creases. Take each of your individual pieces of trapezoids and put them on the blanket. Take around the width of a ruler or two and draw the line and mimic the trapezoid. Do this with all 8 pieces of the trapezoid. You do not need to worry about the edges as they will be in the back but make sure it is bigger than the original.
Step 5: Wrapping the Reflective Surface
Have one person hold down the trapezoid while another person wraps around one side of the cardboard to have one side reflective and the other side not.
Step 6: Taping All of Them
DO IT ALL DONT BE LAZY! Make sure that you pull it as tight as possible to make sure there is no wrinkles on the front. Tape at least 6 times. One on top, one on bottom, two on the left, and two on the right.
Step 7: Testing
Go outside in the sun with each individual piece. Bring two people with you and have them help you set up an octagon with the shorter end of the trapezoid and the outer edge going out toward you. From this point, move the parts up and down until you find an angle where the sun will hit the center of the octagon.
Step 8: Taping Together the Parts
Once you find your perfect angle, have a fourth person tape the edges to each part and make sure that you have a rough connection. Afterwards, once they are kind of together, flip it over and tape it more to make sure it sticks together and not get destroyed.
Step 9: Plexi Glass/Saran Wrap
Take your piece of plexi glass and put it above your octagon. Your octagon shaped solar cooker should have the longer edges facing out and the shorter edges facing in. Put a piece of plexi glass on top of the octagon and draw a square an inch around the diameter of the top. From here, use your jigsaw to cut the square out and put it on top of the octagon. However, if you do not have any plexi glass or your project cannot hold the plexi glass, just put saran wrap on top of the octagon. It is less efficient than the glass and you would have to constantly change the top, but it is another way to hold the heat inside. To hold up the plexi glass, use the cinder blocks to make sure that it does not break under the weight of the plexi glass. However, make sure the cinder blocks are not taller than your plexi glass and instead near the same height so the plexi glass is effective in keeping the heat.
Step 10: Cook Your Food
Find a spot that will be able to get the sun's rays from sunrise to sunset. Place your pot with water inside of the octagon and cover it with either your glass or saran wrap. Leave it throughout the day and your pot should reach around 150 degrees. This should be good enough to cook some noodles. Happy eating!.