The Science Be­hind the So­lar Oven

North & South - - Good Times -

So­lar ovens use heat emit­ted from the sun, called so­lar en­ergy, to cook food. The foil re­flects sun­light into the box, and the plas­tic wrap acts like a green­house by pre­vent­ing the heated air inside the box from es­cap­ing. As more heat from the sun streams into the box, the air inside grad­u­ally be­comes warmer. The black pa­per in the bot­tom of the box ab­sorbs the warm sun­light, which in turn heats the food placed on top of it.

Ex­plore fur­ther

• What other items can you cook in the so­lar oven? Could you bake a potato or even a pizza?

• Does chang­ing the an­gle of the re­flec­tor flap change how ef­fi­cient the so­lar oven is at cook­ing?

• Try us­ing the oven on a warm but cloudy day. Does it still cook the cook­ies? Why do you think that is? +

So­lar Cookie Oven

Ex­tracted from The Kitchen Science Cook­book by Dr Michelle Dick­in­son (Nanogirl Labs Ltd, $49.99). Pho­tog­ra­phy by Magic Rab­bit Ltd. Find out more about Nanogirl Labs at nanogirl­labs.com.

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