I want to make a solar cooker that works really well in the summer and hopefully in winter as well. I have tried to use as many “usable trash” components in my project idea but I would also like to use sheets of metal to make the cooker from scratch. I don’t have access or the skills required to cut and fold metal and this is the biggest limitation.
I have included doodles from my notes to explain the three possible design ideas. THe overarching idea is to use reflection of solar radiation from as many angles possible to heat a metal sheet which heats up, transfers the heat to materials being cooked. I think of it as trapping heat. When the food is almost cooked I would like to cover the cooker to retain moisture in food as well as use energy efficiently.
The simplest design I have uses a large tin can. The sides of the can will be cut along its length and bent outwards to reflect radiation. The upper cover of the can can be cut to size to use as a lid.
The next design is a bit quirky and uses the frame of a broken umbrella. I intend to place metal sheets or other reflective surfaces along the inner surface of the umbrella. The doodle explains the design better. When finished it will look like flower. This setup is only the arrangement of the reflective surface. The actual cooking can be done in a stainless steel plate with a border of at least an inch. This plate needs to be placed inside the reflective surface setup.
The third design possibility is the one that I shared in class the other day. For this a food grade metal sheet needs to be bent to form an angle between 45 and 60 degrees. Since I intend to cook food in it there needs to a panel system built around the sides of the v. When food is half cooked the cooker can be sealed from both sides and the top. I will definitely need to use tools and acquire basic fluency with metal work.