how can we test our solar oven if the sun won't shine?

by Cheryl
(Corsica, SD USA)

We are doing a science fair solar oven project and the sun is not shining. Can we use infrared lights and how many infrared lights equal the equivalent to the summer time sun?



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Greetings Cheryl,

Thank you for visiting our site and for your inquiry.
I can tell you right now that yes, you can use an artificial light to test your solar cookers.
Paul Munsen of Sun Ovens International always carries an infrared light to demonstrate his Global Sun Ovens when the weather is not always cooperative on a particular day.

As for how many lights, or the power and output of the infrared lights, I am not sure exactly. This is something I would have to research a bit more, but maybe one of our fellow solar cooking experts might know and respond with an answer before I do.

    I do have some information from some other sites that may be helpful in your search for artificial light sources that can imitate the sun and be used for the solar cooking demonstration. The first one is about Solar Simulators

      And here is a definition from a site that deals in infrared heating apparatus:

      In scientific terms, Infrared is a form of electromagnetic energy found in the same spectrum that includes visible light, radio waves and microwaves.

      Radiated heat which is also known as Infrared heat is a radiant energy which works like the sun and is one of the most commonly known sources of energy

      Infrared heat is transmitted at the speed of light, 300,000km per second, in a straight line with minimal loss to the air. It can be aimed, reflected or focused by materials that have a highly reflective surface, Bright aluminum or stainless steel for example. When infrared strikes an absorptive object such as concrete, wood, water, paint, skin or clothing it is converted into heat at the surface. Surrounding air is then warmed by conduction and convection. The best example of this transfer of heat is from the sun to the earth without loss of heat to outer space.
      Infrared heat

      I hope this is helpful and I will try to get some more information on the quantity of light apparatuses that would be necessary to simulate the sun to test a solar cooker.

      Nathan
      Admin.

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