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Stylized Text: Solar Cooker Development and Testing Program.

The Florida Solar Energy Center conducted a research project on low-cost panel type solar ovens for the Dorothy Ann Foundation on behalf of Solar Household Energy, Inc. The overall purpose of the research project was to attempt to improve the performance, reliability and cost-effectiveness of low-cost solar cookers for use in developing nations. Many of the activities and documented results conducted under this project are presented below.

A. Listed below are various reports that have been developed for this project.

Solar Cooker Reflector Optical Evaluation and Design Evolution (PDF Document - 625KB. This report pertains to an optical ray trace analysis of a panel type solar cooker reflector.)

FSEC Solar Cooker Design: Optical Ray Trace Analysis (PDF Document - 670KB. This report pertains to an optical ray trace analysis of a parabolic type solar cooker reflector.)

An Analysis of Greenhouse Cookpot Design Considerations For Low-Cost Solar Cookers (Web site)

Investigation of Reflective Materials for the Solar Cooker  (PDF document - 99KB)

Investigation of Polycarbonate as a Suitable "Greenhouse" Material for the Solar Cooker (PDF document - 671KB)

Final Report: Solar Oven Development and Testing (PDF document - 313KB)

    From the Final Report: Test Results Only (PDF document - 150KB)

    From the Final Report: Test Plots Only (PDF Document - 137KB)

B. Pictures - FSEC Testing (Click on picture to enlarge)

Cookit test Proto test Testing Testing
Test equipment Test equipment Test equipment Prototype greenhouse
Prototype test Greenhouse bag Test comparison Love at first sight
Wind measurement      

C. Pictures - Prototype Development (Click on picture to enlarge)

Listed below are numerous pictures taken during the solar cooker prototype development.

Prototypes Prototypes Prototypes Prototypes
Prototypes Prototype Prototypes Prototype
Prototype Prototype    

D. Testing

FSEC staff have conducted tests to determine the performance and feasibility of using cooking pots that incorporate a selective solar coating material. The selective coated pots were tested side by side with pots coated with standard flat black paint.

Why selective solar coating? In order to reduce losses due to heat emission, selective coatings reduce radiation heat losses. This makes it possible to absorb and transform a large part of the short-wave solar radiation into heat, and, simultaneously, the emission of the long-wave heat radiation from the absorber (coated black pot) itself is significantly reduced.

E. Cookpot Drawings

Listed below are a set of draft drawings for the solar cooker's Greenhouse/Cookpot (also referred to as the HotPot).

Section through greenhouse and cookpot

Greenhouse pot cover and greenhouse pot (without top)

Alternate Lid Design

F. Solar cooker panel manufacturing information

Listed below are drawings and a manufacturing information document for the construction of the solar cooker panel prototype. Drawings and instruction documents are in PDF format.

Manufacturing Information

Drawing A

Drawing B

G. For further information on solar cookers, please refer to the links below. Solar Cookers International (SCI) is a non-governmental organization which has become an international institute on solar cooking since its founding in 1988. This is the premier site for information on solar cookers. Solar Household Energy (SHE) was incorporated in 1998 to identify and support promising entrepreneurs in areas of the world with adequate sunshine. First, SHE has the experience and expertise to provide in-country guidance on training in food preparation techniques. This requires the formation of local instructors to teach solar cooking and to conduct consumer support programs. Second, SHE conducts research on developments in passive solar technology. This is essential if SHE is to give entrepreneurs the best possible advice on equipment selection.

H. Here's the reality of why solar cookers are needed. (Click on picture to enlarge)

Using scarce materials for heat source Firewood is becoming scarce...and further away Teaching community members how to use solar cookers