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Natural Building & appropriate technology’s blog 02

Article Two of Natural Bldg and Appropriate Tech Internship

Most efficient solar oven building competition open!!

Four different teams ready to challenge their own understanding and knowledge of thermodynamics and energy flows to first design and after building a solar oven that would have the highest inside temperature. What a day! The morning we had a quick recap of the previous day and like very often, the recap takes longer than expected. Beginning to work on our creation of the day – at 11am we were quiet concerned about having the time to finish. And we did not finish… So we have until Wednesday morning to do the work.

Anyway it was an amazing day. Diving all together deep into our knowledge and sharing our skills with each other in our teams; we ended up with four different designs. We were and still are full of questions to try to improve the efficiency of our solar oven. Is it totally sealed? What are our thermal bridges? Which materials would provide the best insulation? Which material would be strong enough for the frame without being too conductive?

The principle of the solar oven is to harvest the energy of the sun to cook food. We have all experienced the power of a single lens being able to conduct the sun waves of the whole surface of the lens into a single spot and what happens? Fire! What a powerful energy that we live in. At every single second the earth is bathed by this amazing amount of energy.  Let’s go back to our teams. Our designs are quiet different, but the principles and patterns are the same :

–       focus and optimise the energy of the sun on the food.

–       seal and insulate the container to keep the heat inside.

So here we are, still thinking about all how to improve our solar oven for tomorrow and co-create a beautiful peace of art that will also function as an efficient way to cook our meals.

Here is the design of one team, with a big refractor to have a larger catchment area of sun directed into the box.


~Oscar Morand, 19 February 2013, Natural Building and Appropriate Technology Intern

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