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solar cooking under clouds - Page 8

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Posted by Josepi on October 6, 2010, 1:45 am
Me thinks we have lost the topic of the OP post "under clouds"

This would imply some sort of heat energy storage device to increase
temperatures and prolong the amount of cooking time available. More food may
go bad when half cooked and the sun goes down or too heavy a cloud cover
comes in. This situation would not be workabel for "the while world" (less

For these poor "cooking climate" conditions the storage battery or theraml
mass would seem to be a necessity.

Geez! I sleep for a few hours, and come back to find all these new

I started this thread in response to an e-mail I got some months ago
from someone who lives on the west coast of Canada. He mentioned that
he had not been able to test his solar cooker designs because the sun
had been obscured by cloud almost all the time for the previous
several months. There are plenty of places in the world with cloudy
climates, not just Antarctica. If we want solar cooking to be globally
useful, we must try to make it work under clouds.

We should assume that the amount of direct sunshine is *zero*. Cookers
that capture heat when the sun is shining and use it later may be
useful in some situations, but not in really cloudy conditions. We
need something that will reach a useful cooking temperature under an
overcast sky. Will a flat plate do that? I've never seen one that

The PV idea doesn't imply that devices such as inverters and batteries
must be used. The PVs could be connected directly to a resistive
heating element, or to a Peltier-effect heat pump. Of course the
impedances would have to be reasonably well matched, but that
shouldn't be difficult.

The vacuum tube idea apparently works in diffuse sunlight, but I don't
know about complete overcast.

I don't really like the idea of using an electric cooker, but so far
it seems to be the only one that would definitely work.


Posted by Randy on November 16, 2010, 3:58 am

I use 225 Watts PV and a 12V Air-X wind gen, 2-L16 6V batteries with a 2000
watt inverter to run lights, TV and a single burner elec. stove. Cost
prohibitive? Perhaps but more practical and usefull if you need a generic
power source.
I have started useing car radiators and old used water heaters for
collecting thermal heat. So far I have reached 129F with glycol but I'm
working on going higher. Proper insulation has been key to success.
 Third world contries may have these laying around in junk yards for
free/cheap. Just a thought.

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