Wikipedia defines this as “Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation, along with secondary solar-powered resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass, accounts for most of the available renewable energy on earth. Only a minuscule fraction of the available solar energy is used.
Solar powered electrical generation relies on heat engines and photovoltaics. Solar energy's uses are limited only by human ingenuity. A partial list of solar applications includes space heating and cooling through solar architecture, potable water via distillation and disinfection, daylighting, solar hot water, solar cooking, and high temperature process heat for industrial purposes.To harvest the solar energy, the most common way is to use solar panels.
Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute solar energy. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors to harness the energy. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.”
Solar cooking is one of the best examples of human exploitation of solar energy as an abundant and renewable energy source. The concept is simple yet remarkably effective. Design a receptacle with appropriate insulation and lined, reflective material to maximize the effect of the sun. Ensure the receptacle then has either a layer of thick plastic (for example polyethylene) or glass with buffered edges that fits over the entrance thereby trapping the consequent heat from the inbound sunshine.
In the case of a parabolic solar cooker the principle is less about trapped heat and more about harvesting reflected sunshine off a parabolic reflector with the solar pot being positioned at the focal point of the parabola.
Place a dark solar pot or pan in the solar cooker. Fill the pot or pan with a meal that needs to be cooked and then stand back and allow the sun to heat the solar cooker to temperatures of up to 400 °F (200 ºC). Orientate the cooking face of the solar cooker to follow the arc of the sun (adjust the cooker say once an hour or more frequently if practically possible) and allow the food to cook utilizing only the heat generated inside the solar cooker.
After a couple of hours you will have a delicious and nutritious meal cooked slowly and gradually, using no other fuel except free and abundant sunshine.
To read more on the benefits and practical application of solar cooking click on this link to get instant access to my ebook
Sun Solar Cooking.
In addition you can get immediate access to my free mini course on solar cooking by clicking here.
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