Solar Cooking
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Last edited: 14 June 2024      
Stan Wells photo

Stan Wells

Stan Wells has been responsible for creating some of the most inventive tracking devices for individual solar cookers the community has seen. Built with ingenuity and a modest amount of equipment, he continues to raise the bar on what is possible.

He settled on forested property in northern California, USA in the 90’s, with a tent, a battery, and a solar panel. He started exploring solar cooking with a Sun Flash parabolic solar cooker, purchased via mail-order catalog. It served he and his wife quite well for several years. Next to arrive was an All American Sun Oven. Generally happy with the cooker, he was not satisfied with the lack of adjustment in the tilting mechanism, and designed a new mechanism incorporating a lazy susan. Soon he was working on his first solar tracker.

He has constructed a number of prototypes, and found when you solve one problem, you often create another. For example, a wireless remote control was a fun feature that allowed to remotely drive the cooker back into the sun. But that required two motorized wheels up front and tracking motors are best if they are low geared. When your prospective meal becomes shaded, slow motors take way too long to relocate the cooker. So they wound up having to pick the whole thing up defeating the purpose of the remote control.

Since 2020, his solar trackers have had the ability to simultaneously follow the sun along both the vertical and horizontal axis, instead of simply rotating the cooker, which maximizes the amount of available solar gain. He credits his participation with the Solar Cookers World Network Facebook group, with helping to provide information and encouragement for his projects.

News[]

Stan Wells three cookers at once, 5-15-24

Photo credit: Stan Wells

  • May 2024: Stan Wells is employing a trio of solar cookers, all fitted with dual-axis trackers, to help prepare a solar feast. The cookers shown are a SUNplicity parabolic, All American Sun Oven box cooker, and a homemade box cooker.


  • NEW: November 2023: Stan relates: 'This is my most advanced cooker/tracker. Dual axis tracking with digital thermostat. The bung is super insulated so the tube cooks evenly throughout. The solar panel cube on the far end is the tracking sensor. The panels on the other end keep the 3s 18650 batteries charged. It rotates and tilts just slightly every few minutes controlled by the nearest star' He mentions the food shown below was cooked in 15 minutes. Impressive.
Photo credit: Stan Wells

Projects[]

  • March 2024: How to build a universal dual axis tracker controller for solar cookers or PV panels
  • March 2024: Tracker for Sunplicity Solar Cooker
  • March 2024: Testing the Universal Tracker Controller
  • March 2024: How to build a simple effective rotation tracker.
  • March 2024: Build a Tracker for a Box Cooker - parts and design ideas
  • March 2024: Solar Cookers That Track The Sun
  • March 2024: Tracking The Sun - An Assortment of Solar Trackers

Additional videos[]

  • March 2024:
Backwoods_Solar_Cooking-2

Backwoods Solar Cooking-2

The_Undisclosed_Location_Solar_Ranch_&_Cafe-2

The Undisclosed Location Solar Ranch & Cafe-2


See also[]

External links[]

Contact[]

Stan Wells
California
USA

Email: swells@cwo.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/16213904406/user/1163612867
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/SW94929