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Old 01-28-08, 03:53 PM   #1
Niles H.
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Solar Cooking

Lightweight solar ovens are possible. I've seen some of them. [Does anyone know of some good designs, or which might be the lightest and most suitable ones for touring? I believe there are some plans on the web -- most of them are probably not so concerned about weight and size, but some of them might be.]

***
There are some limitations (like early morning, late afternoons and evenings, winters at northern latitudes, nighttime, shaded locations, clouds, etc.), but they can still be quite useful, and the fuel is freely given by the sun.

Cooking several meals at once might make sense for some people.

In certain areas of the world, or at certain times of the year, they are probably a very fine option.

***
[Maybe a solar cooker could be used to 'charge' a system for cooking another meal later on -- good afternoon sun could be harnessed to heat something to a very high temperature. This could be stored (well insulated), and then used for the evening meal.]

[Hot water could even be used in this way -- there is another recent thread about this.]

***
And there is something attractive about using the sun's rays to prepare food.
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Old 01-28-08, 04:01 PM   #2
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http://solarcooking.org/

But but but, what happened to the microwave?
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Old 01-28-08, 04:04 PM   #3
Niles H.
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http://solarcooking.org/

But but but, what happened to the microwave?
Still in R&D.
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Old 01-28-08, 04:07 PM   #4
Niles H.
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Thanks for that link.

Does anyone know of any especially promising designs for bike touring -- light, non-fragile, reasonably compact -- good to carry?

Last edited by Niles H.; 01-30-08 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 01-28-08, 05:09 PM   #5
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Better not come to Pennsylvania with that solar stove or you will be eating raw food most of your stay.
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Old 02-13-08, 08:06 PM   #6
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how about mounting a solar stove on the top of a rack and cooking while you ride? the challenge of course would be to accommodate for the constantly changing ideal relationship of the oven's reflectors and the sun.consider it done. i'll check back in when its done.its motive is somewhat of novelty status considering the stoves that are out there. but, they do cost money to re-fuel, and can't bake. also, directly using a billions of years old star's energy as fuel to cook food is beautiful.the good old weight issue won't be one for me. thanks to my last tour, i learned what type of stupid crap i don't need...like 5 books and a 3 day's rations of food.
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Old 02-14-08, 12:23 AM   #7
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No direct experience but some ideas.

- Aluminized bubble wrap (insulation) as a base to keep heat in and reflect a bit of radiation back towards the pot
- Water/food container painted black to minimise reflection of radiant heat
- Clear plastic top to the system to minimize convective heat losses. Maybe bubble wrap; maybe just clear plastic or glass.

I once waw something on the net that was a little like a beach ball, half clear and half aluminized. I don't know how the food got inside.

The other thing I've seen is a car windscreen sunscreen (aluminized foam) rolled into a cone with the container balanced inside and the whole thing oriented towards the sun. This sounds the easiest to implement, and the sunshade can be used to sit on or even as a sleeping pad when you're not heating water with it.

The sunscreen gets my vote for least-unpractical option for cycle touring. Real potential to save fuel for heating water.
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Old 02-14-08, 08:28 AM   #8
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i never considered aerodynamics. i sure wouldn't want a freaking satellite dish of flimsy foil. actually, it could double as a parasail with tail wind.

i think i'll build one with the reflectors on the inside only. one guy built one with a primary mirror reflector on the outside, and the inside was coated with some black shiny something, and of course black pots and pans. a quick idea, i could build the primary reflector on the inside for aerodynamics, and mount the entire oven on some kind of rotation device so i could constantly make adjustments. also, it doesn't need to be super efficient. prepare the dish in the morning and ride all day. i don't need 300 degrees.

*edit - after seeing some more designs, it seems all i need is black, reflect, and insulate.
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Old 02-16-08, 10:12 AM   #9
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Which pannier are you going to devote for the cooking stoves that you will carry. The solar and the back up to actually cook on when it is freezing, raining, cloudy, etc.
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Old 02-16-08, 12:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
Better not come to Pennsylvania with that solar stove or you will be eating raw food most of your stay.

Or western Washington, for that matter...

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TRY EMPATHY & HAVE LOVE IN YOUR HEART, PERHAPS I'LL SEE YOU ON THE ROAD...
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Old 02-16-08, 06:00 PM   #11
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front rack on the top. i wasn't planning on putting anything else there. it could just stay there full time. and when there's no sun, there's no cooking.

*edit: reply to lighthorse
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Old 02-16-08, 09:21 PM   #12
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Have you considered a soda can stove that runs on alcohol? They are uber cheap to make, rediculusly light weight, are very reliable, and efficient too. I have built a few and love them. Here is a link to a nice looking version you can build:
http://ygingras.net/b/2007/6/a-better-soda-can-stove

If you don't want to make one yourself, you can buy one, as well as some other handy accessories too:
http://www.antigravitygear.com/prodd...?prod=AGCKAG3C

I want to try making a pot cozy next. You put your pot in it after bringing it up to temperature and it keeps it hot for long periods, long enough to keep the food cooking without being on the stove.
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Old 02-17-08, 04:04 PM   #13
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i'll probably have one of those too. i guess the bottom line is the added adventure factor with the solar oven. its also practical in dollars, and for a bigger menu. i must say niles, this and your wild foods thread inspired me. i look forward to making dandelion soup.
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