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The Colony Follow-Up, Solar Water Pastuerization

by Brad

Last February, I helped my next door neighbor (5th grader) with a solar water pasteurization project, using less than $10 worth of materials for the panel cooker, and an $8 turkey roaster. The setup is pictured, with various graphs and data that some may find useful. Even in February, with a clear sky, we could easily pasteurize the 13 lbs of water that fit into the roaster. Had the members of Discovery's "The Colony" TV show each had a few of these simple reflectors, they could have pasteurized all of the water they wished to use each day, or scaled up the setup with a water tank or 55-gallon barrel, painted black, enclosed in a large polycarbonate bag, etc. sitting inside of large reflectors or mirrors. A barrel moving cart would even have served as the perfect support device, since it is wheeled and allows one person to easily move the barrel with the movement of the day's sun (a gallon of water weighs approximately 8.34 pounds, 55 gallons weigh 55 x 8.34 = 458.7 pounds).

I'm currently cooking chicken on one of the toughest sun angle day's of the year, and will post when done.

Happy Holidays everyone.


Thanks again for the great insight.

(I am currently cooking meatballs, hashbrowns and popcorn on one of the shortest days)

Yes, you are right again, but maybe your "problem" is that you are thinking with a heavy dose of common sense.

Besides, would your "spot on" ideas make for "compelling Television"?

Thanks for all of your efforts.

Happy Solar Cooking.


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Dec 30, 2011
Solar Cooking Newsletter Archive Page
by: Brad

For those new to solar cooking, stover cooking, etc., you will find a lot of interesting articles on the subject in the Newsletter archive site of Solar Cookers International, located here:


There is an article on a street vendor using solar power to heat water to steam for cooking, and that really caught my attention for further research.

Dec 25, 2011
Sun Cooking is Passive
by: Brad

Nathan, I think your comment holds many layers of truth. A TV show containing solar cooking would be very boring. There's not much to weld, grind, solder, cut, connect, or diagram. The cooking activity itself is very passive, requiring one to rotate a cooker a few inches every half hour or so. There are no flames to "kindle", "battle" or "fan" (all action verbs). My own oven related "inventions" are a larger, folding reflector insert, and a simple stabilization consisting of binder clips and rock-filled plastic bags to offset the potential air-catch of the insert.

Without fuel or water purification to worry about, the show would have to focus on personality clashes and survival clothing fashion. We'd be cancelled in a week.


Amen to that!

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