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Solar Funnel Cooker

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As a University Professor of Physics with a background in energy usage, Steven set out to develop a means of cooking food and sterilizing water using the free energy of the sun. First, he looked at existing methods.
 
As a University Professor of Physics with a background in energy usage, Steven set out to develop a means of cooking food and sterilizing water using the free energy of the sun. First, he looked at existing methods.
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The parabolic cooker involves a reflective dish that concentrates sunlight to a point where the food is cooked. This approach is very dangerous since the sun's energy is focused to a point which is very hot, but which cannot be seen (BYU students and Steven built one which will set paper on fire in about 3 seconds!). Steven learned that an altruistic group had offered reflecting parabolas to the people living at the Altiplano in [[Bolivia]]. But more than once the parabolas had been stored next to a shed -- and the passing sun set the sheds on fire! The people did not want these dangerous, expensive devices, even though the Altiplano region has been stripped of fuel wood.
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The box cooker: Basically an insulated box with a glass or plastic lid, often with a reflecting lid to reflect sunlight into the box. Light enters through the top glass (or plastic), to slowly heat up the box. Problems: energy enters only through the top, while heat is escaping through all the other sides, which have a tendency to draw heat away from the food. When the box is opened to put food in or take it out, some of the heat escapes and is lost. Also, effective box cookers tend to be more complicated to build than the funnel cooker.
   
 
While studying this problem, Steven thought again and again of the great need for a safe, inexpensive yet effective solar cooker. It finally came to him at Christmastime in the mid 2000's, a sort of hybrid between the parabola and a box cooker. It looks like a large, deep funnel, and incorporates what he believes are the best features of the parabolic cooker and the box cooker.
 
While studying this problem, Steven thought again and again of the great need for a safe, inexpensive yet effective solar cooker. It finally came to him at Christmastime in the mid 2000's, a sort of hybrid between the parabola and a box cooker. It looks like a large, deep funnel, and incorporates what he believes are the best features of the parabolic cooker and the box cooker.
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