The goal of our project was to construct a solar cooker that could function in the way of reflecting or using sunlight to cook food. We wanted to turn sun light into heat energy that could be used to heat up food. The maximum temperature achieved was 100 degrees. Those suffering from springs cold weather in Afghanistan would be interested in this project because they might lack the funds to buy a high class and effective cooker. The materials used were cardboard, mirror, reflective tape, scotch tape, poles, string, reflective sheet, foil, Plexiglas, and regular glass. More specifically, there were 2 cardboard boxes, 1 mirror, 12 yards of reflective tape (not all used), 12 yards of scotch tape (not all used), 2 poles, 10 yards of string, 1 reflective sheet, some foil, Plexiglas, and regular glass. Also for cutting purposes, use box cutter, electric saw and scissors. The cost of the total materials was around $20. This project took about a week to assemble completely. It was 12 inches wide and 15 inches in length. One tool that we used that was potentially dangerous was the electric saw, which was used to cut out a piece Plexiglas. People could substitute the silver light reflector for a cardboard box. It is used to keep a glass mirror angled in a way that would reflect sunlight well, so using a cardboard box instead would work too.
Step 1: Step 2
Light enters the thermal cooker through the Plexiglas and regular glass placed on two of the 6 sides on our solar cooker. Due to the Green house effect, the light is able to enter the glass and be converted to heat that gets trapped in the cooker. Similar to the effect of the mirrors, the saran wrap served as the same function except it was able to cover the little wholes that the mirrors can't. Also since the inside of the solar cooker is coded with reflective tape, sunlight will hit the reflective tape and be directed to the object inside the cooker. Once sunlight is directed towards the object in the cooker, the sun light energy gets converted to heat and trapped in the object we want to heat up because the object we want to heat up is surrounded by a black covering. Lastly, the mirror positioned at the right edge of the solar cooker better directs light to the object we want to heat and in a way it makes sure that the energy gets focused onto the intended object. Because of the angle the mirror is placed, it is able to perfectly focus the light on a single point. The black covering that the food is placed in is designed to absorb the light because it traps in heat with its dark coloring.
Step 2: Step 3
First, we gathered all of our supplies. Then, using a cardboard box with the dimensions of 12x15, we cut a slit for another piece of cardboard to fit into. Then, we covered the inside of the box with reflective tape. Afterwards, we cut off the slits of the box. Next, we mounted two white poles to the side of the box to serve as support for the reflective sheet and mirror that would be reflecting the sunlight. After that, we connected the reflective sheet and mirror to the two poles with reflective tape. Then, we cut a piece of Plexiglas with dimensions that matched the box in order to cover the top part of our solar cooker. Afterwards, we attached a regular piece of glass to the front of the solar cooker using yarn. Lastly, we filled in the open holes that the Plexiglas and the regular glass could not cover with seran wrap. In order to check the internal temperature of the box, we cut a hole into the side of the box where we could insert the infrared thermometer gun.
Step 3: Steps 4-7
To be specific, the poles were inserted in holes and taped to the bottom half of the box. Also, the poles were positioned correctly with the yarn that we wrapped around the whole solar cooker. The yarn was wrapped around the cooker two times. It had to be tied tightly in order to ensure its stability. Two arch-shaped cuts were made into the Plexiglas so that it could fit around the white poles. The mirror was secured with reflective tape so that the sunlight could still be reflected off of it.
Step 4: Step 8
Step 5: Step 9
In order to be successful when creating a solar cooker, one has to be willing to try out different ideas and do trial and error whenever things are not working out according to plan. Initially, we had planned on following a design that was a little complicated, which specifically included us planning on using a turtle tank to cook in instead of a normal cooking plan. During this project, we realized that going along with a simple design was easier and more effective for helping us achieve our goal. We learned that it is not a good idea to use a lot of tape, and sometimes more is less.
Step 6: Step 10
Project was made by Nia, Jasleen, Christabel, Leslie, and Alexis
THANK YOU to mini Bording, who helped us cut the Plexiglas