(Shelbyville, Ky. USA)
I spent this week talking to contacts from the "The Solar Cookers World Network" on facebook. What an awesome group of individuals! It is an open sharing community where people are posting their work with solar ovens.
I initially began speaking to people when I came across an individual's work who was building very simple but effective ovens with a large basket which was covered with aluminum foil. This functioned as the concentrator. At the back of the basket was an aluminum reflector attached to a yard stick.
I spoke with her, and she shared pictures of many of the dishes that she had cooked using the design. She put me in touch with a friend of hers who had been using solar cookers to teach science for over a decade...so I'm looking forward to hearing what kinds of tips and pointers she has for doing solar cooking with school groups.
The creator of the Copenhagen Solar oven (sold on this website) is part of the network, and I happened across a youtube video that details her work, as well as how to make your own. My next post will be of various Copenhagen stoves I'll be making using different reflective materials.
Youtube page with different solar ovens here:
I am considering focusing on the Copenhagen design as a possible low-level design for students due to its simplicity. I was considering the pizza-box style "science fair" type ovens for heating smores as a low level design, but I'm a little iffy on cardboard with black paint in the heat. It seems like there would be some chemicals being released that you might not want to consume.
If anyone out there has designs for solar ovens that students can make that won't poison them, I'd love to hear about it! Maybe I'm being too cautious. When I was looking through designs on instructables.com, I realized that not a whole lot of thought was being given to off-gassing of materials when they are being heated.
So stay tuned for DIY Copenhagen stoves and a simple basket concentrator! If you are actively involved in the process of solar cooking, I suggest you check out the network on facebook!