Solar Cookers or Solar Ovens are very simple, easy to build cookers that use the power of the sun to cook food.
Open fire wood cooking is a huge problem in developing and poor countries. Cooking in a poorly ventilated kitchen on an open fire can cause respiratory diseases and premature death over time. Many poor countries are in hot climates where the population receive many hours of bright daylight for much of the day. Solar cookers are a simple, clean, environmentally responsible way of cooking hot vegetables and meat.
The principle is simple enough. Create a box or enclosure with an open top that is well insulated and has a reflective / mirrored finish on the inside of the container. Inside you place a blackened / very dark, non reflective pot with your raw vegetables and meat in and finally place a clear (Glass / PVC) lid on the top and pop the box in bright sunshine until your food is thoroughly cooked.
More reflective shutters can be added to direct more sunshine into your solar cooker for better results. The preferred material for the reflected surface is Mylar or Melinex but can be substituted with tinfoil, turkey foil or polished stainless steel.
Notes on Mylar: DIY Solar Cooker enthusiasts usually utilize Mylar as it claims a 65% reflectivity.
Something I have recently come across is Diamond Reflective Mylar that claims a 99% reflectivity, how true this claim is I have no data on but I am going to be building and documenting 2 solar cookers and comparing the efficiencies to see what benefit there is using Diamond Mylar over traditional Reflective Mylar.
External Website Links
Read and purchase Solar Cookers / Solar Ovens
The basics on Solar Cookers / Solar Ovens
Large website for Solar Cooking
Fresnel Lense Solar Cooking
Journey To Forever's slant on Solar Cooking
Build It Solar provides some interesting information