Last week I bought a SK14 Solar Cooker from the opgewekt.nu organisation. It’s a shiny bowl, made from aluminium, which is balanced so that it can easily pointed at the sun. Because the bowl is parabola-shaped the sun’s rays are concentrated in its focal point. A pan can be placed on a rack in that focal point, which will heat up quickly in the concentrated sunlight.
The solar cooker came with a matte black pan which absorbs the sunlight well. The user manual contains recipes for everything from soup (Solar Soup?), fried potatoes, bread, pizza and cake to deep frying.
Unfortunately the sun doesn’t rise very high in the sky in this time of the year and that means it doesn’t reach in our back yard. I expect to able to start experimenting in April. If the sun would reach the cooker it should work normally even in the middle of winter, as the winter sun provides more than enough energy to heat the pan. Of course, the air temperature being lower, cooking might take a little bit longer as the pan radiates a bit more heat.
For now the solar cooker resides in out shed, when I start experimenting with it I’ll report about it extensively.
Nuon Solar Team apparently loves time lapse movies Here is a nice video showing Tokai Challenger arriving at the Tennant Creek control stop, followed twelve minutes later by Nuna6. To say the situation must have been tense is probably an understatement.
The Belgian Umicore Solar Team is airing a multi-part documentary about their participation in the 2011 World Solar Challenge. Parts one and two are already online. The documentary is in Dutch, but I think the imagery and the atmosphere might still make it interesting for non-Dutch speakers to watch or at least skip through:
More episodes will follow (I don’t know how many) and I’ll link to them as they appear online.
Here is an enjoyable 14½ minute video showing the atmosphere and highlights of the 2011 World Solar Challenge. Check especially around 4:25, where you can see 21Connect very nearly crashing when the driver took a turn faster then planned: