Using an Art of Illusion Scene File to Make, Test and Compare a Funnel Cooker With Other Solar Cookers!

About: I am a stone mason. My hobby is making new solar cooking and gardening stuff. I have used solar heat to cook soil for a couple of years. In mother earth news in January, i read that their compost expert does...

This video shows you how to use an art of illusion scene file to do useful solar testing before you make anything. The scene file will be available for download (It contains parabolic, deep parabolic, and other dishes and you can also make your own.
Please feel free to improve the scene file and test more solar cookers with it.
Nobody has designed the perfect reflective dish curve. Help us improve dish and trough design.



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    6 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    After many tries, I realize that the best "parable" is an array of plane mirrors. The reflective plastic sheets they are amazing, but each wrinkle functions as a great stain in the surface.

    5 replies

    Perhaps you are right. I have started to experiment with troughs instead of dishes. When you make troughs, there are far less wrinkles and hopefully we can find a combination of 2 or 3 troughs that provides 2 or 3 hours concentration at a time. Others have had success concentrating heat by leaving the plastic sheet to "hang" . Not an exact parabola but close. And you can hang the trough with one side higher than the other too. Lots to do but I have been too busy with work to check it out.

    Type in parabolic trough and search images. It is just a sheet curved in one direction so not so many wrinkles. A dish has curves in 2 planes so many wrinkles! I just wrote trough because it does not necessarly have to be parabolic. Also check out "pointfocus" A guy in Sweden used 2 parabolic troughs to get a burning point of light. I believe that with the software, we can find a combination of 2 troughs that will give you a ball focus for 2 or 3 hours which would be super for solar cooking. We shall see Brian

    I suspected, but asked to be sure. Your idea of two trough seem clever. I'm not very technical, so I usually manage with the old method of "trial and error".

    Someone else thought of the 2 troughs idea, not me. The software is a trial and error method too. It should be easier to construct a solar cooker in the software, and shine the "sun" on it and compare it with other solar cookers. If someone wants to compare a real new design with existing models for real, the proper experiment inclucing commercial solar cooker, controls, thermometers and time for doing the test for half a day will cost hundreds of dollars! Easily! Better to test and perfect your new design in art of illusion first, i think! Brian