The core uses of solar cooker include cooking of various food dishes from solar energy. There are various more applications of the solar cooker which are different than traditional cooking.
How does a solar cooker work?
Solar cookers work on the basic principle that is the conversion of sunlight to heat energy which is used for cooking. In this section, we will be discussing the working of solar cookers step by step.
In solar cookers, sunlight is used as a fuel. Having said this, a solar cooker needs an outdoor spot that is sunny for several hours and which is protected from strong winds. Solar cookers only work during the day and are non-functional during nights and on cloudy days.
Conversion of Sunlight to Heat Energy
Dark surfaces absorb sunlight faster and food is best cooked in shallow, dark, tight-fitting lids that hold heat and moisture.
A transparent heat trap around the dark pot lets in sunlight, but keeps in the heat. The heat trap is usually a clear heat-resistant plastic bag ora large inverted glass bowl.
Capture extra sunlight
One or more shiny surfaces reflect extra sunlight onto the pot, increasing its heat potential.
Applications and Uses of Solar Cooker
- Water Distillation
- Solar Smelting
- Roasting coffee and peanut for commercial purposes.
- Separation of Beeswax and capping
- Wax melting
- Sterilization of Medical apparatus
- Grain Sterilization
- Water Purification
We use this setup for distillation of water also. With the help of a parabolic cooker along with a distiller setup above the pot receptacle for keeping the water constantly boiling.
This setup in large scale industries can also achieve high temperatures which are more than 2400 C with the help of a solar concentrator and which can melt iron.
Roasting Coffee and Peanut for commercial purposes
Usage of solar cooker can help in efficient use of renewable energy for roasting of consumption items such as coffee beans, peanuts, popcorn.
Separation of Beeswax and melting capping
This process usually prefer solar cooker because it is natural and won’t damage sensitive food products such as in honey manufacturing. Separating the beeswax and melting the capping is done using this method.
Commercial usage of melting and repurposing wax from the leftover wax and waste wax is done using the solar cooker.
Sterilization of Medical apparatus
Nowadays, medical industry is becoming efficient in utilizing the solar energy. Doctors use panel style cookers and solar ovens for sterilizing instruments such as needles, gauge bandages and prevent the spreading of infection and diseases.
The more effective way of sterilization of grain is done by using solar oven to kill bugs and weevil which may have infested the grain.
Usage of that old style hot irons are not ideal now compared to heating the iron on parabolic cooker which gets hot enough and fast enough for ironing purposes.
Solar cookers are used all around the world for purification of water and pasteurization on a larger scale. Water is heated for domestic purposes like bathing, washing clothes or doing dishes.
For domestic use, such as dehydrating food in a solar box style in which the vents are partially open for circulation of air and also the lid/door are partially open to prevent from excess heating.
These were some applications and uses of solar cooker, if you wish to know more, download BYJU’S The Learning App.