Posted by Solar energy guru | Filed under Solar thermal solutions
When thinking about the applications of solar energy, most people think about heating water or powering solar lights. However, solar energy can also be used for other purposes. One of the applications of solar energy that is having a great positive impact on the environment is the use of the solar cooker to cook food, particularly in remote areas. Using a solar cooker has many benefits and relatively few disadvantages, so its use has become more widespread in the past few years. Learning about how the solar cooker is used can help inspire you to use solar energy in your home and reduce your environmental impact.
A solar cooker, also called a solar oven, is simply a cooking device that uses energy from the sun to cook food. It doesn’t require any electricity, which makes it the perfect cooking device to use in remote areas or areas where there is no access to a power grid. The solar cooker has three major functions. The first function is concentrating the light from the sun into one small area. Reflective materials are used to do this, and the result is that the heat is more concentrated in the solar cooker. The second function is turning the sunlight into heat. This is accomplished by using a substance that can absorb the heat from the sun and store it for cooking purposes. The third function is trapping the heat created by the sunlight. Trapping the heat helps to cook food more evenly and means that the solar cooker can be used on both hot and cold days.
There are several types of solar cookers available for use. All of them have their own benefits and disadvantages, so you must consider how you will use your solar cooker and where it will be used before you decide on a specific type. The box solar cooker is able to work in temperatures of up to three hundred degrees Fahrenheit. This is almost comparable to the temperatures reached in a traditional oven. However, food must be cooked for a long period of time to compensate for the reduced heat. You must also start cooking early in the day while the sun is at its peak, or you may not be able to trap enough sunlight for the solar cooker to cook your food thoroughly. The panel solar cooker uses inexpensive shiny materials to reflect sunlight into a cooking pot that is in a clear plastic bag. This type of solar cooker cooks at low temperatures and can heat water or cook grains on most days. On very sunny days, the panel solar cooker can also be used for cooking meat and vegetables. The main problem with the panel solar cooker is that it has a small food capacity. Larger families must use more than one panel cooker to cook their meals.
Another type of solar cooker is the solar kettle, a device that can actually boil water using only solar energy. This type of solar cooker is a little more complicated than other solar cookers because it uses evacuated glass tubes to help capture and store the energy produced by the sun. The parabolic solar cooker is very comparable to a traditional oven because it can reach high temperatures and cook food quickly. However, these solar cookers cannot be left unattended like more basic models can. They need constant supervision to ensure that food does not get burned. The hybrid solar cooker is ideal for use in environments where there is not always a lot of sun. This cooker has a regular electric cooking element as well as the components of a solar cooker. The solar cooker components can be used to cook on sunny days and the element can be used to cook on cloudy or rainy days.