Intro: Umbrella Solar Cooker
The goal of our project was to create a solar thermal cooker that can be easily built and attained by third world countries. In class, we learned about how many people in the world burn wood in order to cook food. Burning wood not only harms the environment but also the health of people. Thus, our goal is to build a simple cooker that can help people in our world cook food without harming the environment or their health.
Our umbrella cooker was able to get up to 200 degree Fahrenheit. These materials was free for us because our teacher was able to get it. If you were to get it, it would cost around $20. This project took about 3 hours to make. The cooker is 37 inches (depending on the size of the umbrella) and it is 10 inches high (excluding the rod).
Be sure to have an adult use the tools because they can be dangerous if misused.
How does it work? The cooker is able collect light from the sun and focus it on one point because the umbrella is a parabolic shape. The reflective material is able to collect the light and turn it into heat.
When we finished our project, we were able to cook hot dogs. The hot dog is held by the silver rod and the cooker focuses the sunlight on the hot dog which cooked the hot dog. The hot dog successfully cooked the hot dog.
Be sure to have people when cutting material because a group member of ours accidentally cut himself. Additionally, when cutting the foam poster, ask people for assistance so cutting can be accurate.
Step 1: Materials
In order to make an umbrella solar thermal cooker, you will need:
-glue (one can of spray glue recommended)
- 6 feet of reflective silver paper (if you do not have it you can use foil as a substitute)
-6 feet of foam poster (if you do not have it you can use cardboard)
-jigsaw (for foam poster)
-one yard ruler and protractor
-7 planks of wood and 20 nails
-long thin silver rod (about 1 foot)
- 2 hooks for hanging solar thermal cooker after cooking.
Measure the underside of the umbrella with a ruler and a protractor to get exact measurements.
Cut out shapes from the foam poster in order to create stability for your umbrella cooker. In our case, we cut out eight triangles and eight trapezoids.
We glued reflective sheets of paper onto the triangles and trapezoids.
When the reflective sheets were on the triangles and trapezoids, we glued them on the umbrella's underside.
Wait for the glue to dry .
Build a wooden stand with four legs.
Break off the umbrella handle and attach thin silver rod to where the handle of the umbrella used to be.
Attach umbrella solar thermal cooker to the wooden stand and put it outside facing the sun.
You are ready for cooking! Puncture the hotdog on the silver rod and cook it. I hope you are successful in your project.
When you are done cooking, store the umbrella solar cooker in place where it is not windy and hang it in a shed. Additionally, remember to wash silver rod or anything else you are going to use to cook with for sanitation.