Solar Cookers are the devices which utilize the sunlight in order to heat, cook and pasteurise other food products. Solar Cooker is inexpensive, portable and powerful just like the normal stoves. Moreover, it helps to reduce the usage of fossil fuels, as fossil fuels are degrading and
The working of the solar cooker follows certain kind of principles, which are mentioned below:-
- A concentration of sunlight:- A mirrored surface is used to concentrate light on a small cooking area which is known as a focal point. The reflected light at the focal point is extremely powerful. It carries a lot of thermal energy and is very bright. The thermal energy produced is equivalent to taking a magnifying glass to burn a piece of paper.
- Convert light energy into heat energy:- The light energy and the receiver converts light into heat energy. The conversion is maximized by using materials that retain heat.
- Trapping the energy:- The glass lead will enhance the light absorption and will provide the greenhouse effect which will improve the heat retention and minimize the convection loss.
Nowadays, different kinds of designs and shapes of solar cookers are available in the market. Based on the requirement, heating techniques and designs, you can go for any one of them:-
- Box Solar Cooker:- Box Solar Cookers have an insulated box, topped with a transparent glass or plastic cover and a reflector or reflectors that help heat the box. Temperatures inside the box can reach 400 degrees F and cooking can be done almost unattended, like a slow cooker. This cooker is preferable to a parabolic if small children are around.
- Parabolic Solar Cooker:- The Parabolic Solar Cooker (or Curved Concentrator solar cooker) concentrates the sun’s heat onto the bottom or the sides of a pot—similar to a stovetop. Temperatures can get so hot that you can fry food or pop popcorn. The advantages are speed and the potential to cook when it is cool outside. The disadvantages are safety concerns and the need to stir the contents of the pot so the food does not stick, just like a stovetop.
Moreover, solar cookers can be very helpful and easy to use anywhere. Besides that, it doesn’t require any fuel and merely costs nothing so, Non-Profit Organizations are promoting their use worldwide in order to reduce fuel costs, air pollution, deforestation and desertification which is caused by gathering firewoods for cooking.