The Problem: Traditional cooking fuels (wood/charcoal, coal, gas, oil, and electric) are becoming difficult to obtain. Fuel resources have either been depleted or have risen in cost, placing a substantial burden on the population throughout the global Sun Belt. The strain is felt among both the affluent regions and developing nations. Those living, with a very low or no income, struggle just to cook a meal. Local environments have suffered greatly (deforestation for wood) due to this human need. Sun light and this stove provide an answer to this problem.
Sun Spot Stove solution: This “stove” is fuel less. The energy-concentrating power of a Fresnel lens is focused into a heat source. As the sun rises, an optical sensor activates the dual-axis tracking of the lens towards the sun. Small photovoltaic cells charge a battery which power s the interment ate drive of the tracking device. The tracking assembly keeps the lens on a fixed target (spot) throughout the day. The “target” is the tip of the stove, heating a salt-filled hollow core. The salt is finely ground and packed tight into the core. The heat slowly travels upwards via the salt in the core, then released through the flat peak of the stove body. This flat peak is the cooking surface. Food items are place directly on the surface or suspended on a removable grate. A domed cover/lid functions as an oven; the curved interior of the lid forces convection currents, to cook evenly and fast. The heat storage abilities of salt would allow cooking after the sun has lowered.
Operation: Aiming the stove to a clear southern exposure will provide the longest solar heating cycle. The stove is installable through a wall; the lens and target are placed outside the wall, while the cooking half is inside. Adjustable feet aid in leveling the stove during operation. A simple built-in mechanical temperature indicator provides a temperature reference for the cook.
The stove body and lid are of a moldable ceramic material. This allows for good heat containment, ease of manufacturing, lower material costs, and a long life cycle. Similar to porcelain sinks.
Other components are produced from off-the-shelf materials (flat, round, and tubular stocks) using conventional manufacturing techniques. Simple design geometry lowers production time and costs. The entire stove, with “assembly break-down” and removable legs, fit into a compact shipping container lowering transportation cost. The core would be filled locally, this lowers shipping weight.
Various models would meet the needs of different users; from a simple “one burner stove” to conventional cooking range size. Fuel less cooking for people in dire situations (refugee camps), would free the resources needed to supply the fuel for other purposes. More affluent users find a reduction of the environmental impact and the relaxing of a household budget. A global Sun Belt market is available.
The cost effective combination of simple design, ease of manufacturing, and long term energy cost saving makes this stove the most practical tool for “Solar” cooking.