by James Wampler
(Shelbyville, Ky. USA)
I had the lid on during the boil test, but tried to capture the steam as I removed the lid - - only partially successful
Today, we had clear blue skies and plenty of sun, so I decided to run a boil test. How quickly would this SolSource boil water? I spend a lot of time in the outdoors, and I imagine that a solar cooker would come in handy during any emergency situations, so water boiling data would be nice to have around.
I decided to choose a large amount of water for boiling, since large amounts of boiled water would be necessary in an emergency situation.
I looked at a package of spaghetti, which recommended 4-6 quarts (roughly 4-6 liters) of water. This seems excessive, since I am used to things like Quinoa, Couscous and rice, which consume all of the water that they sit in.
I decided to pull double duty to make lunch for the rest of this week, as well as acquire some water boiling data.
The water begins communicating with you almost right away - you can hear the transfer of thermal energy as soon as you place the pot in the focal point of the cooker.
At 37 mins, the water was beginning to boil
At 55, I looked out my classroom window to see water dripping onto the mirrors, indicating a rolling boil.
Future plans are to be pick a time where I can afford some time to fine tune the process and get to-the-minute data.
I would also like to get data for boiling 1L, 2L, 3L, and on up...perhaps get my students to graph the relationship for some bell work.
The spaghetti turned out wonderfully - placed it in the boiling water for 8 minutes. A fellow teacher poked her head out of her classroom window when she saw the steam coming from the pan. I'll be sharing this in the lounge tomorrow!