One may notice that in burning sunny days the sun heats everything around us. Ground can be so hot that you can burn yourself by treading on it. People found that the sun gives its heat to objects easily. That is why people made not only solar collectors and batteries, but also solar ovens. Solar oven or cooker is the simplest device to use solar energy for cooking without using fuel or electricity. If there is the sun outside, you may simply go out with your cooking device and make dishes in a solar oven.
Solar ovens are widespread in many third-world countries and have already become useful and cheap way to cook for many people there. It is also popular in poor countries, because of high fuel prices and inaccessibility of it for populace. People also use solar oven, because it doesn’t only help to save forests and nature, but also safe in use. It is not associated with fire risk.
The simplest oven consists of peculiarly bended cardboard covered with foil.Foil reflects sunlight and focuses it on a usual black metal pot. The pot is covered up with lid and wrapped up in a plastic parcel (to lessen heat exchange). There are also more perfect ovens. They may have metal reflectors and can be used in restaurants and cafes.
It is true that contemporary people are more likely to believe in huge projects, but skeptical about small and simple devices. So, the usage of such an oven is also some kind of your creativity and patience. There are many types of simple machines that do not have any engines and use only solar energy to heat, cook and boil.
The first are box ovens. These solar ovens can be made of usual cardboard boxes. They are not very large and can reach temperature to 150 degrees Celsius. It is not a great as our kitchen ovens can do, but it’s enough, if you devote a little bit more time for cooking. By the way, box ovens shouldn’t be done only from cardboard boxes. The material can be various: wood, bricks, metal etc. The main point is to focus light on the pot.
The next type is a so-called Cookit. It consists of a few parts. Here you have a reflective panel that directs sunlight to a pot which is covered with a plastic package. You can perform various tasks with this thing as cooking rice, for instance. The main advantage here is that you have more abilities for cooking as more sunlight is outside and cooking can be done in kitchen. It also takes a few hours and the price of such a device should be about 5 US dollars. Great, isn’t it?
It is natural for you to ask: can I boil water with the help of sunlight? Yes, you can! It is possible to do with the help of a solar kettle. Such a kettle is hanged over the reflective surface that focuses sunlight on it.
Some people, who are really good engineers, can create parabolic oven. It should remain satellite with your dish in its centre. It is important here to line up all the elements the way that they concentrate the sunlight on your cooking pot. This device, and this is not a simple one, may reach high temperatures very quickly.
The last type is made for Western people. It is a hybrid solar oven. It’s like hybrid cars, which use electricity and fuel, but this device uses sunlight along with electricity. It is done for you to have hot meal anytime, even when the sun is set. Further, it is possible to cook with the help of electricity, even when the sun is shining.
Let’s make a kind of conclusion and talk about pros and cons of solar oven usage. So, speaking of the advantages we should notice that it is cheap and available for everyone. These ovens do not produce any emissions. You may cook any kind of meal in this oven and keep it hot during the day.
But your cooking is limited to a daytime, so at night you won’t get hot food unless you have hybrid solar oven. You need to wait several hours to cook anything, so you need to have time for that. It also depends on weather, you can’t cook in cloudy conditions.