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Wondering How Solar Ovens Work? Read on to Know the Process

Palmira S Apr 19, 2019
If you have seen your neighbor using a solar oven with ease in his day-to-day life, you are bound to wonder what goes on inside that appliance to get a meal ready. Well, the solar ovens work by converting solar energy to heat energy, which is used for cooking.
If you've heard of solar ovens, you might want to unravel the mechanics involved in its working. These days, mankind is running short of fuel. If fuel continues to be used at the same rate as it is being used now, then very soon there would be no fuel available. In order to avoid this, we have to search for other options for fuel.
One such option is solar energy. Solar energy can be used for different purposes, one of them being to run solar ovens, used to cook food or boil water. These ovens are inexpensive, easy to use, and do not require much cost to run. As no fuel is required, it helps in energy conservation too.
The main drawback is that they cannot work at night or on a cloudy day, since solar energy is required. However, advanced ovens make use of modern techniques to store energy, making it possible for use in the night as well.

How do Solar Ovens Work?

These consists of a dark pot which is placed inside the oven and used for absorbing heat. Since the pot is dark in color, it absorbs maximum solar energy. These ovens can have temperatures that are as high as 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Panel Cookers

These are the simplest kind of solar cookers and make use of flat solar panels, which are covered with reflective coating, in order to direct the solar energy. The panels can be made from aluminum foil or cardboard. Above the cooker exists a black pot where the solar energy is absorbed.
Since this pot is black in color, it is used for absorbing most of the light, which is converted to heat. In order to stop the heat from flowing out into the air, the pot is wrapped with a plastic coating. The temperature in these type of ovens are not very high. They can be used on sunny days to cook grain, vegetables, and meat.

Box Oven

As the name suggests, it is an insulated box which consists of a glass or plastic top for trapping the heat. The sides and bottom of this box oven are either black in color, or are made up of a reflective substance.
There exists a black pot inside the box. The sides of this box are used for converting light into heat. The box oven has the capability of reaching temperatures of up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Curved Concentrators

This design is an advanced version of panel cookers. Unlike flat panels used in panel cookers, curved concentrators make use of parabolic or bowl-shaped reflectors, which are used for focusing sunlight on the pot.
This produces heat, the amount of which differs according to the weather and the size of the reflector.
Solar ovens can be portable for camping, or large units suitable for homes. There are many kits available in the market along with instructions. Since they make use of solar energy and do not require fuel, they help a lot in saving fuel.