Solar Oven with tracking

Atlanta Robotics, with help from the students at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta GA, has developed a prototype of a motorized solar oven that is capable of tracking with the movement of the sun. We have collaboratively designed cost effective methods of manufacture along with sustainable/responsible use of cooking foods using nothing but the power of the sun.  Motor power can also be supplied by solar power through the charging of a 12 volt battery via the on-board solar panel and charge controller. The working prototype is complete and the final product will be available for sale summer of 2013.

Other solar ovens and cookers fall short of optimal efficiency due to the necessity of having to constantly adjust the reflector towards the sun by hand and requires you to be nearby during cooking.

With the Atlanta Robotics Solar Oven, the reflector is automatically adjusted to face the sun.  Cooking efficiency is maximized without the cook needing to be around.

The Atlanta Robotics Solar Oven is capable of boiling half a gallon of water in 20 minutes.

FEATURES:
  • Automatic dish rotation to track the sun for constant unattended cooking throughout the day.
  • Programmable cook time. Dish will rotate and put the food in a shadow after specified cook time has lapsed.
  • Programmable cook temperature.  Dish will maintain a desired cook temp by slightly turning away from the sun to cool down the food or face the sun to heat up the food.
  • On board solar panel maintains the battery at full charge.
  • Uses
    • Pot cooking
    • Pan frying
    • Steaming vegatables
    • Double boiler or Bain-marie cooking. Ex: melting chocolate or fondu.
    • Food dehydration
    • Canning
    • Starting fire by igniting kindling
    • Maintaining or charging other 12 volt rechargable batteries
    • Uses in development
      • Personal hot water heater for showers
      • Water purification by distillation
  • Android app coming soon.
For questions please email info@Atlanta-Robotics.com

OPERATION:

The dish must be manually positioned to face arc of travel or azimuth of the sun across the sky.  In North America most of the time this will be slightly in the southern sky.  The jack legs should face south and the dish needs to be tilted so the sun's rays hit the dish perpendicular.  This is the north/south tilt adjustment.

The pot sits on a stationary gimbal axis which will auto level the pot regardless of the north/south angle of the dish.  The operator must manually position the dish to face the general east/west direction of the sun before operation.  This is required to get the sun's rays to hit the light sensors.  The toggle switch on the operators box will activate the motor to rotate the dish in either direction to move it into position.

Setting the cook start time:
If you want to set out you food in the dish in the morning and be gone all morning but want lunch ready for when you get home but it only takes 1 hours to cook then the cook start time option must be set. Setting the cook start time is done through the scroll knob and LCD screen

Setting the cook temperature and cook time:
The operator can set a cook temperature with the scroll knob and LCD screen.  The stainless steel thermocouple will monitor the temperature of your food and display the temperature in Fahrenheit on the LCD display.  There are two types of cooking profiles; first is the cook to a defined temperature then stop cooking, and second is a maintain temperature for a specified time period.  For example, if you want to slow cook a chili at 160 degrees for 3 hours then the dish will continue to cook the chili until it reaches 160 degrees.  At that point the dish will rotate away from the sun to stop the cooking.  Once the temperature of the food reaches 5 degree less the programmed cooking temperature the dish will then rotate back to face the sun in order raise the temperature back up.  This temperature control loop will continue to until the specified cook time has lapsed.

Atlanta Robotics would like to thank the following Mechatronics Engineering students from Southern Polytechnic State University who helped in the research and testing of this solar oven.

Jamey Alexander
Samanta Chan
Jeffery Kornder

The team wrote two papers describing the theory, challenges, and operation of the design project.  The following research papers can be downloaded below.

Research paper 1: Click here to download
Research paper 2: Click here to download

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